Leaving the World AIDS Day march

Leaving the World AIDS Day march

After the World AIDS Day march, we had one last get together with the Wake Up Pune volunteers in Cafe Coffee Day before tying up loose ends and preparing to leave Pune. We stopped by The Family Welfare Centre on Tadiwala Raod to say goodbye to the staff who had welcomed us so kindly, and to pick up my sari – I couldn’t resist the beautiful colours!

Back at the CC, the task of packing up 3 months of stuff loomed ahead! For Dunc, packing was dead easy and could be done at a moments notice. For me… well, it wasn’t so easy! When we were packing up every 3 days or so, or living out of our rucksacks, I liked to start organising myself  a couple of days before we due to leave. So on this occassion, packing became a week-long event! My rucksack was at bursting point and I even had to invest in another smaller rucksack for gifts (and maybe shoes…). Luckily, we were meeting some of the other volunteers in a couple of weeks time in Goa, so thankfully Gaia kept a hold of my extra bag until then. What a star!

Saying goodbye to the other volunteers before heading to the bus station carried mixed emotions. For some, it really would be the end of our time together – well, until we next meet up in Pune! – but for others, like Eva and Gaia, we would be seeing them again on the beach in Goa. From the remaining volunteers at Deep Griha, we were one of the first to arrive so our deparature made others think, “that’ll be us soon”. I hope they made the most of the time they had left!

Dunc and I were both really sad to leave Deep Griha, but equally were looking forward to the next installment of our adventure. We had an absolutely fantastic time volunteering in Pune and fully intend to return to catch-up with the kids at DIYA in Ramtekadi, the local volunteers who we became good friends with, and of course the staff who made the transition into Indian living so much more comforting. Without the support of these wonderful people (including Dunc!), our volunteer pals, and the sanctuary of Cafe Coffee Day shops all over Pune, my experience of India would have undoubtedly been very different. So a big thank you to all! xxx

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