One of last month’s highlights was a weekend away with the ladies who work in the building we live in. Nineteen ladies, their husbands and children, plus our group of foreigners meant 85 people. We went to the beach, a place many were seeing for the very first time.

The trip, which involved cars, a ferry, a train and a jeep-type taxi, took 12 hours overnight. As families were handed keys to their hotel rooms, we went with them to make sure everything was okay. Now, these families live in homes that measure about 2m by 3m. When they saw their rooms, which were three or four times the size of their homes, they were both amazed and a little overwhelmed.

What followed was a weekend filled with moment after moment of joy as these families, whose lives are usually a mundane routine of cook‑work-clean-repeat, were suddenly able to just have fun—jumping in and out of the waves, climbing on top of a camel, purchasing shells or necklaces as they relaxed in the sun. The sense of freedom was tangible, and it was wonderful to watch it rapidly unfold. Even the husbands, who can be problematic, were on their best behaviour, something which has continued even after the return home.

From a Tranzsend worker in South Asia