First Week in K-Put

Corey writes:

As you heard from Gina last time, we've finally arrived in Koraput! Two SOVA staff members picked us up from the train station along with Mike, the outgoing VSO volunteer with SOVA. We were dropped off at the Raj Residency ("the house of comfort"), a new fancy hotel here in Koraput. We're staying here until Mike moves out on Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday afternoon, we were invited out for a quick tour of Koraput and a late lunch at Hilary's house. Hilary is another VSO volunteer working here in Koraput. We ate some delicious food, which was provided for free by one of the local shopkeepers (it pays to be regulars!) and drank a few beers. Our gathering was rounded out by Margaret and Jan, the other two VSO vols in town. It was a very warm welcome!

The next day, Monday, was our first day at SOVA. We met so many new faces and names, it was hard to remember them all! But everyone is very friendly and knowledgeable. Mike and I got to work reviewing the progress he's made here and what needs to be done after he leaves. Gina got to work reviewing the objectives for her position. During a meeting in the afternoon where we met the senior staff, we were unexpectedly put on the spot when we were asked to explain to the 10-12 people staring at us what our strengths and plans were. I guess we're jumping right in!

Yesterday and today, our Programme Manager from VSO is visiting. She's helped SOVA and us to start to plan our work over the next few months and also our broad objectives for our placements. We ended the day by taking a quick tour of the Jagannath Temple, the biggest here in Koraput. It's very beautiful!

Everything is very new and exciting, we'll keep you posted as we start to settle in. Some pics to help you imagine our placement.

The SOVA building, a few kilometers outside central Koraput.

The gorgeous view from the SOVA balcony. Note the herd of cows and the blue sky!

SOVA's main stairway. These drawings are everywhere in Koraput, tribal art representing daily life in the villages.

Gina's desk.

At the Jagganath temple.