Today the team split into two groups to divide and conquer sort of. One adventure took to the high seas for a three hour tour…but returned safely from Hope Island in the bay of Bengal. Hopefully one of the girls will step up and write about that since I haven’t been there since last January…if you are interested in seeing about it download Google earth free and punch in Hope Island, India
My group had the pleasure of working with the AIDS\HIV women and the lepers of Tunai. One of the most important things in a persons life is to have value and feel self worth. Being poor drains a person of both those as they struggle and beg to provide for their own sustenance each day. NASA provides micro-finance loans to these people to help give them a hand UP instead of a hand out like the American welfare system is. Small groups of people, usually 6 –10 will band together to form an alliance and they will ask for a 90 day loan of say 500 rupees so that they can “fund” daily expenses or business ventures like selling trinkets or cleaning supplies that they would sell to others. The neat part is that the repayment rate for these types of loans is over 95% as it is culturally frowned upon to NOT payback loans. Once repaid, the group is eligible to get another loan; all done at zero percent interest rates which is a far cry from the 30% they would pay the local banks IF they would even be given one. Well, an exciting day here…Christmas Indian style begins on the 23rd and runs through the 25th – I can’t wait!!