So a little update from us here in the north of India.
Since we got back to Dehradun two weeks ago, time has passed very fast. The first thing Johan and I did when we got back to the ”BIG” city” was to a) take a hot shower b) eat something else than Daal (lentils) c) join the gym. This might seem weird to you but after spending a month in a little village, these were the things we were longing for.
My experience in the little village of Narayanbagar was great, I learned a lot of being in the field close to the people that UYRDC are working with. But it is really different from my life in Dehradun. I realized after being back in Dehradun that Johan and I get the best of two world by working for both SOPHIA and UYRDC.
Since we got back to Dehradun our Midterm review with the focus of empowerment is slowly starting to come together. We have also spent 3 days in the forest in Uttar Pradesh with the Van Gujjars. It was so interesting to see their everyday life and and their struggle for forest rights. Not only are the forests degrading over the last couple of years, but also are they vulnerable to poor health condition due to poor access to basic facilities such as clean water and health care. But to see the efforts of SOPHIA field staff Munesh and Nazim in helping claiming their rights and so much more are really impressive and creates hope for the future. Looking forward to our next field visit already.
Next week we are off to Kotagiri and keystone for a Swallows partner meeting, we are really looking forward to this!