Day 18: Loveleen’s Village in Haryana

March 17, 2006

We arrived at Loveleen’s grandparent’s village in Kaithal district around 3am, after having taken a detour to pay state taxes for our vehicles in the middle of the night once we crossed into the state of Haryana. We travel at an average “speed” of around 40 kilometers an hour on the highways (much less in the cities) because our expediter and drivers will not look at maps (perhaps they don’t know how to read them) and never know where they are going. Their M.O. (method of operation) is to stop as often as they need to ask for directions – a losing proposition in a country where most people cannot tell you which direction is North (even from their own homes).

Around the Tank

Loveleen’s family puts us up for the night and feeds us the next morning before we start off for the village school – parathas with curd and butter made that morning. (The family started the day after putting us to bed!) The village is lovely. Quiet, clean, prosperous. We walk a few minutes to get to the school, which is on the other side of the tank. I notice many women of lower castes who cover their faces in the presence of unknown men.

Woman with Covered Face

The kids of Nand Singh Wala Kheda Government School are assembled in the yard, sitting on empty plastic sacks that they carry to school for that purpose. Their books are carried in plastic bags.
Writing LettersLoveleen Collecting Letters

Our second school is located next to a Gurudwara about a 10 minute drive away. About 1,800 students were gathered in the grounds waiting for us.
Sri Guru Teg School

We didn’t have enough paper to go around (we didn’t expect the entire school to show up for our program), so we tried to get some of the little kids to play games. It was a pretty hard task since they were clearly not used to being encouraged to run around and have fun!

Mark and the Littlest Kids

We left the idylic countryside reluctantly, knowing we had to get to Amritsar for three school visits, the first one at 7:45am!

Sharing the Road

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