The moment I came to know about this CAS trip I was ready to go. I love getting dirty in mud and with planting trees it came hand in hand. This trip actually made me realize how hard it is to labor and that it’s not at all easy to work in sun all day. I thought it would be really fun and plain sailing but no it wasn’t. We had to dig in some places and place the plant there. We also had to carry the plants from one place to another which was really tiring. Carrying that heavy axe made me ponder upon how much strength is needed to just plant and how they might have managed all of that. It made me sensitive towards workers and brought more respect for them as they worked so hard to earn. I also interacted with workers and treated them equally and came to know about plants and manure from them.
We worked collaboratively and tried to reduce the work by working in a team so when we had to carry the plants from one place to another we stacked and then passed the plants from one person to another so we did not have to move which made the work less tiring and also consumed less time. I was euphoric and felt satisfied after the work was finished and I am also looking forward to planting tress in my own garden.
I now understand the saying- until you experience it you don’t actually know it. Having never done plantation before, I thought that it was an easy task. I mean there was hardly anything to be done other than digging a hole, keeping the plant in it and filling it again. I did not realize how wrong I was until I actually experienced it. Me along with some of my friends took up the challenge to experience a day in the life of all the workers in Janki Van. We reached Vasnda and divided into two groups, each of which would go to different places and plant mehendi plants. All of us were drenched in sweat within the hour, our city bred selves couldn’t handle the intense heat and the extensive work. I got to know how hard the workers there had to work to earn a day’s meal.
Apart from planting trees I also learned about the importance of doing what they did at Janki Van. I already knew that our enviornment has been degrading day by day but never did I take a step forward to do resolve this issue. I realised that I had to start acting on these issues instead of just being aware of it.
It was a great opportunity to plant more trees and plants, I always wanted to positively add up to nature and such CAS trips are really helpful. Before going for the trip I thought it won’t be so difficult to plant, all we have to do is get the plants and fill in more mud. But, NO it was tiring. Carrying the plants all the way from one place to another made it very difficult. This is when I realised how difficult it is for the workers who did the same thing everyday whereas we were tired just in a span of 3-4 hours. It was challenging and fun, it made me more sensitive about the people who work there, earlier I didn’t really care about it but now it makes much more sense. Especially, the Service part of CAS will definitely make a change in my perspectives towards life. I extended myself to complete the activity as I knew that leaving it half way makes no sense. This activity did not only make me more sensitive about the workers and their pain but also contributing to the nature was a great deal. Nowadays, because of Industrialization and Globalization people have stopped caring about the environment but most of them are money minded. This activity at least helped us contribute a bit to the environment.
I found myself completely out of my comfort zone because the way we were completely drenched in sweat and covered with sand, it made it really very uncomfortable. But, there was a sense of satisfaction towards the end of the trip as we got to do something which we are not used to and also achieve it.
The most difficult part was the heat and when most of the people are tired and you are the only group of few people who are working, less people more work made things hard.
I had always wanted to learn a foreign language, and this was the ideal opportunity for me. Learning Spanish has made me more aware of the cultures of the people in Spain and also has opened up my mind to issues of global concern such as the beautiful cultures of Latin America and Spain getting wiped out. Initially, I thought that it wouldn’t be that difficult to learn the language since the script of Spanish is the same as for English, which is the Roman script but once I started learning it, I realized how different it is. Learning the endless list of verbs and their conjugations was extremely tiring but the most challenging part was yet to come. The culture prevailing in Latin America believes in speaking very fast so when I tried to hear audios; it was tough to understand whatever was being said. However, eventually, I was able to comprehend and speak quite well.
Learning the language made me feel like more of a global citizen, as I didn’t feel the confinement to the same languages I have always been taught. Initially, my tutor kept pushing me to translate only texts, and often I didn’t understand what to do; so along with a friend, I suggested our instructor to plan fun sessions like watching Spanish plays and have quizzes to test our understanding. Having something fun and interesting to do while learning so much developed my interest in the language to another level. Learning a new language required a lot of time and dedication but the practical, intellectual and aspirational benefits it offered felt worth. I believe that by acquiring skills of a language so widely spoken, my perceptions of global situations has widened and has encouraged me not to stay confined to the clutches of my thought process and explore wider horizons.