So hi there. This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you a bit about myself and why I’m going to India for a year…
Well my name is Francesca Muskovic, I come from an Italian/Croat background but was born and grew up in Sydney with my parents (Bruno and Clara) and my brother Walter. I have loved to travel my entire life.
My wanderlust was instilled at an early age when my awesome parents would take us on big driving holidays every year while we were growing up through school. Some of my happiest early memories are of sitting in the old family sedan listening to the Beatles and CCR while driving through the outback. To my family’s frustration (but secret envy I think) the desire and need to travel only grew with age. A few years ago, after Walt finished uni we took off together and travelled around the world for about a year and a half. South and Central America, USA, Europe, Egypt and the Middle East, India and Thailand. I knew I would never be the same again after having been to these places and met the people who live there.
Of all the places we visited, India was a particularly memorable place for me. Anyone who has spent time in India will tell you that the vibrancy of culture and the startling poverty visible almost everywhere makes it one of the most confronting and simultaneously frustrating and fascinating places you will ever visit. It affected me profoundly. So much so that after arriving in Varanasi, we decided to stay and spend the remainder of our time volunteering with a local NGO, the Sankat Mochan Foundation.
Varanasi is a place where the extremes of life in India are all too apparent; our work with the SMF allowed us go out on the boat to collect water samples from various points along the Ganges. In one pass we would see men and women in the river scooping and emptying water as they performed their morning prayers, groups of women washing their clothes, men washing their buffalo, and everyone else washing themselves. All this would occur just metres away from pipes emptying raw sewage into the river, and corpses being burned on the riverside in the ritual hindu burial.
After I had been back in Sydney for over a year, an opportunity arose for me to spend a year in India working with Engineers Without Borders and a local Indian NGO called The East West Aid Foundation of India. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, and before I knew it, I had signed up to a year of working in India, based in Tamil Nadu a couple of hours south of Chennai.
I will add to this page with a more detailed description of the work I’ll be doing, but for now would invite you to check out their website (link above) and ask to you to stay tuned and watch this space!