One of our volunteers from the US went with his family to a very special city, Vrindavan, for a day! This city is especially famous for the Hare Krishna movement, and many foreigners live in this city! It lies only about two hours from Delhi NCR, so they left early in the morning and came back in the evening. He describes the city as an extremely spiritual place, as he went to "Bankey Bihari Mandir" ("Bankey Bihari," a name for Lord Krishna, "Temple" in Hindi), Iskcon Temple, and the Yamuna River in particular. At Bankey Bihari Mandir, our host prayed in what we know as "God's home," the place where Lord Krishna used to play when he was a child; he even went up to the sanctuary in the temple for blessings and prayers. After eating some "Prashad" (offering to God after prayers) and receiving the "Teeka" (the symbol on the forehead after prayers), he exited the temple with his family and they enjoyed the very famous "Lassi" (yogurt shake) from Vrindavan out of the special clay glasses which are unique to Vrindavan. Then, the family went to the Iskcon Temple, where they prayed and observed beautiful paintings and prayed to Radha-Krishna. Finally, for a scenic view of the city, the family went on a small boat on the Yamuna, where they learned more about the city and even tasted the holy water from the Yamuna. The volunteer had a fantastic experience with his family, and he is sure to go back to visit the city another day! The first picture is of the Bankey Bihari Temple from outside, and the second was taken on the Yamuna River.
In other news, the orphanage, children, and other volunteers have been doing very well! Yesterday morning, one volunteer from the US, another from Canada, and two from England went to Town Park, in Delhi NCR, with all of the children for a nice picnic. In the afternoon, they enjoyed some toast and chai with their host family, and in the evening the volunteers went to the movies to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," about which they gave great reviews! Today, after helping the children get ready for school, one volunteer, a nurse back home, went to a government hospital to observe surgeries and assist with injections. Two other volunteers have gone to a public school in the neighborhood to teach the children and play with them, while another volunteer has gone to central Delhi for the afternoon. Though one of our volunteers from Australia has gone back home, the other four are continuing their project at the disabled children's school today, and this evening they will go to a different project to experience the women's empowerment program while also volunteering with slum children.