Most of us had a good nights sleep, despite being woken up by the call of a temple at 5am
As Chris and Julie said, we were invited into some of the homes of those that we had met earlier. The lanes in the slums were like a maze; the alleys were dark and narrow, each lane has about 40 homes, each home consisting of a single room, each room is no bigger than 8' square with 6 to 8 people living in each room..they eat, sleep, cook, wash and live in this one room. Everywhere there was activity, children playing in the lanes with sewers running down either side, women washing clothes on the roof whilst men worked in tiny work rooms. Our guides consisted of some of the women and children we had met, one women was a 'bare foot doctor' - a woman who has been through three months training in basic health by Asha, they cover 200 to 300 households each, helping to solve basic health problems and are the focal point for reaching every home. She introduced us to some of her patients; one was a lady going through her first pregnancy and another was a family who had a father suffering from TB, with a disabled child that was malnourished. We were shown the Asha cards used by the lane nurse to monitor both patients. In the case of the child it was so sad to see how the childs weight was very low, with limited opportunity for the weight to increase whilst the father was unable to work, due to TB. These two cases seemed to illustrate both the great work of Asha and the immense need for what is being done.
In another house, we met a family with one daughter at college. She needed to be able to study at home but with so many people in the one room house and all the comings and going of so many people, they had erected a small plastic covering on the roof under which she could study.
After saying goodbye to the Asha team, we went shopping in a local market to buy traditional Indian clothes. The girls spent ages making decisions - there were so many choices as well as rich and beautiful colours...where as the boys were finished within minutes, allowing them to then buy a second outfit with a lot of bling..... we will all be wearing some stunning outfits when we return. We returned to the YWCA and ate in, as after a very busy day we were all very tired.
Today we went on a tour around Delhi visiting some of the great sites, ably led by our wonderful guide Amanda. Although we do not drive far, everywhere takes a long time to get to as we negotiate the miriade of cars, lorries, bicycles, pedestrians, tuk-tuks and motorbikes. We have started to count how many people we can see on a single tuk-tuk or motorbike - so far we the record is 5 on a motorbike and 7 in a tuk-tuk.
Our first stop was at the Presidents Residence and the sectretariate. As we walked down the Rajpath (the Indian equivalent of The Mall) towards India Gate we nearly lost Jez as he was diverted by one of the many casual cricket matches in progress on the roadside. Yes, he did go and join in for a very brief over. Once we arrived at India Gate and joined the throng of very colourful people looking at the monument we bumped in to Geni Corbett and her friend Claire, who are out here working in another slum with Asha. The day was concluded by a visit to a beautiful garden and tomb where we had time to relax in advance of tomorrow
Helen & Chris