Your experience at RUCHI will give you many things if you let it. This is a great opportunity to really interact with the RUCHI Indian staff. They are very welcoming to volunteers and will always like you to join them in their houses and activities – you just have to be proactive about interacting with them as well. The majority of them are very modest about their English but some are very good and most have at least the basics. They also think that Westerners need lots of personal space (they have all been taught this because it is so different from Indian people) so you will need to let them know what is comfortable for you. If you want to spend lots of time with them – they will greatly appreciate that but if you would like to spend time reading and being alone they will understand that too. There is limited internet and very slow computers so don’t expect to have much time on the computer.
The best thing you can do is go with an open mind and a desire to get to know and understand the Indian people you will work/ live with and you will gain so much from this experience. They are doing their every day work and will include you as much as they can, you need to let them know you want to be included. Some people go with the expectation of saving the world but in reality you will be helping a non- government organisation that is slowly having an amazing effect in very difficult terrain with a huge number of obstacles in front of them. The best thing you can do is offer whatever you can and be their friend – so they know they have your support.