The Garo Hills Diary
From Niki and Rose on their January 2017 visit
We've had a great first couple of days here in Garo Hills. Sunny's Jubilee Celebration was a lovely event. Big....about 2,000 people with all his brothers and sisters, the current Bishop Andrew and the previous Bishop George plus local dignitaries and Government officials. The day started with Mass and was followed by lots of speeches, singing, dancing and a meal for everyone there. Rose and I were pretty tired at the end of it all as we'd only arrived at 11 the night before.
Today was a little more relaxed. A Thanksgiving Mass at 8am after which we gave out certificates to the Tailoring students and Driving and Motor Mechanic students who have just graduated from 5 months of training at Bakdil. This is a training programme for young people who are school drop outs. The rest of the morning was fairly quiet. We wandered around the complex at the Bakdil Training Centre in the sunshine and watched a group of young boys playing cricket using bamboo poles for cricket bats!
In the afternoon we visited Fr Mani and the Presentation Sisters at a new parish in Babadam and also visited the Primary Health Centre run by Bakdil on behalf of the government where Rose and I cooed over the 5 newborn babies.
Tomorrow we are attending a SHG Sale Day event in a village called Jongdikgre and we will be accompanied by Eugene and Terak, 2 of Sunny's staff as he is away in Calcutta for a couple of days.
Wifi allowing we'll be in touch again soon.
We've had a great few days so far. The weather is very pleasant and as usual we are being spoiled rotten!
Sunny's Jubilee Celebration was a very grand affair with about 2000 people there. Lots of speeches (including one from me), dancing, singing and food! We were very tired at the end of it all.
Today we have had a fantastic day in Jongdikgre village where there was a SHG product sale day plus of course the obligatory speeches, dancing, singing and food. Not forgetting of course the very sweet tea!
It was lovely just to sit and interact with the villagers, wander around and visit their houses.
We've got a 5.30 start in the morning as we're off to Baghmara which is 4 hours away so it's an early night for us tonight.
We will be away touring for the next 5 days visiting Baghmara, Dalu, Zikzak and Purakasia , taking in the South Garo Hills, South West region and West Garo Hills. We will not have internet until we return to Tura next Tuesday evening so will be in touch then.
Love Niki and Rose. X
We've been without Internet since I was last in touch
We're pretty exhausted now with lots of travelling, early mornings and a fairly sleepless night in a village last night as it was so cold. Mind you the experience brought it home to us just how difficult life in the villages is for the Garo people....and still they smile. It is a very humbling experience being here. Fr. Sunny and his staff have done a wonderful job of looking after us, and I'm sure we will be coming back a few pounds heavier with all the curries we've eaten. We're looking forward to getting home and sharing our photos and stories with you all.
Niki and Rose.
The Presbytery, 32 Vale Road,
Stourport-on-Severn, Worcs. DY13 8YL