I came to the Water Habitat Retreat and part of a educational camp to learn more about the impacts of climate change in the desert region of Rajasthan and water harvesting. Here we met with the people of the Jal Bhagirathi Foundation, who do inspiring work on water security and enabling communities to revive tradition sustainable water harvesting. We were able to see how the water habitat retreat is a real oasis and testament to integrity of traditional water harvesting by exploring the structure of the hotel itself. We were then able to experience a taste of the truly majestic Marwar desert and understand the important work JBF do by meeting communities they work with - this was a colourful, cultural exchange that was a really meaningful from an educational perspective (seeing how water is central to livelihood) but also a traveller's perspective. Back to the water habitat retreat, we found the hospitality was outstanding. We were welcome straight away and felt so well looked after throughout our weeks stay. There was away a friendly "good morning" and "can I get you anything", The rooms were clean and fresh and soon become homely. The food buffets were delicious (I miss Indian food so much) with the combination self-service buffet and more formal waiter service, I felt like we were really getting royal treatment. The atmosphere and setting was idyllic, I think pictures of the retreat speak better than words here. The hospitality team were professional and friendly and accommodated us as a group of young people (and the other guests we met on the programme) in such a embracing way, from hosting romantic rooftop meals to allowing us to throw a couple of parties in celebration of a birthday and new friends we had made, and a cultural evening at the end of the programme was amazing, with the tradition Rajasthan folk music. It is hard to find words to describe how wonderful my trip to water habitat retreat was and how inspiring our interactions with the people there were, which left me feeling overwhelmed and very fortunate to have experienced such an oasis. Well it was definitely real, as I have pictures to prove and definably worth a visit experience what life is like in the desert and learn about the amazing work of JBF, all from the wonderful water retreat. Thanks to our hosts - Kanupriya Harish of JBF and Arjun and team for your warm hospitality and a life changing experience.
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