Varanasi is a hectic city, many Indian tourists on a spiritual holiday. Every day of the year it is a mad-house, but during Indian holidays it supposedly gets even more crazy. I tried to avoid the crowd:
Volunteering at the Ganga Learning Centre
My last day in Varanasi I decided to volunteer at a school nearby. The project is amazing: they educate children, but also their mothers – the mothers learn how to sew for six months after which they are able to work and earn money so that they can send their child(ren) to school. The children, after attending the Ganga Learning Centre, will by then be ready to attend a regular school as they have learned much at the centre.
The children start the day off with a yoga class, then they study English and Hindi before having lunch. At the end of the day they have a Skype session with a ‘Granny’ via the Granny Project – most of these elderly women from the UK are retired teachers. I was lucky to meet the founder of the project and one Indian ‘Granny’ who were visiting the day I volunteered.
It was so much fun playing with the children and pointing out where Holland or the Netherlands is on the globe – they didn’t find this too confusing; their city Varanasi is also named Beneras or Kachi (city of spiritual light)
Breakfast in Varanasi
Every morning I spent a few hours in Varanasi walking around the Old Town and the main road searching for fruit stands.
Eventually I would have accumulated and devoured many fruits: bananas, oranges, pomegranate juice, fresh coconut, watermelon, papaya, sugarcane juice and grapes.