We the second year Novices were given golden opportunity to have a rural exposure for two months in the village of Chatra. We felt happy that we lived amidst the “Bhunyan Caste”. In the beginning, we had mixed feelings like excitement, anxiety, nervousness and fear due to unknown place, people and language. But as we stepped in the village we experienced a warm welcome by the villagers.
We were accepted as their own people. All the feelings which we had earlier disappeared soon. Sister Joel had arranged two good families in two different villages where we stayed for two months. The name of the village is Burhigarha where Rajnima and Paulina stayed. The other village Morenwa is where Ritika and Usha stayed.
Both the villages are situated at the center of the forest from where we could admire the beauty of the nature and reflect on God’s creation. We too were fortunate to attend the class on “Social Analysisn” by social activists Bhai Vinay Sengar. Fr. Tony SJ and Sister Kitamai Sinku, SCN. It helped us to better understand the life of people there.
We met women who were ready to share their struggles, about Self Help Group, Mata Samiti, landlords and about the condition of the village. Being with people we came to know their struggles, limitations and hardships. We observed a few major problems of the village which are following: There is a lack of education, teachers and proper guidance. There is poverty, land issues, family problems, alcoholism, dowry system, caste system, child marriage etc.
They are going through a lot of internal and external problems. Really they are poor but they are rich in heart. In spite of struggles and challenges they are happy and content. They have learned to manage their life, likewise, we too faced the difficulties during our stay there such as to adjust in village setting to go out for morning duties, to take bath and change clothes in open places, to live in without door and window, to understand the language, to get vehicle to go to interior villages, to encounter with the government teachers. Though there were challenges, we realized that we were able to face it because of our personal prayer. We are grateful to the Sisters who were and are praying for us every day.
We too rendered our help to the families by bringing firewood from the jungle, working in the field, grinding spices on the stone, helping in the government school by teaching, and listening to the women. We have learnt a lot from people to be happy, generous, hardworking, hospitable, and responsible and to take risks. People were very happy with us. We were in need of them, our availability was great help for them. Really God has blessed us in many ways. We experienced God’s tangible presence through villagers, protected by them.
As we recall back our experience of two months it was a unique, joyful, learning and challenging one. We have gained self-confidence. It helped us to grow in a better way and made us strong. It also taught us to be ready to face all the situations of life. Our two months of stay in the village was fruitful.
II Year Novice