“I’m stunned by the most struggling and yet contented way of living of the typical rural masses,” said Joan. F. Shanebrook, psychotherapist, personality developer and special investigator of the New York Office of Mental Health, Albany.

Ms. Joan, along with Roger Sitara, a senior defence engineer of the US government, is on a brief sojourn to the Konaseema region. Apart from delivering lectures at some engineering colleges here, she visited several remote rural and seacoast hamlets studying the living standards of the people .

After interacting with several families, Ms. Joan said she was surprised to see the happiness on their faces despite their being away from minimal comforts and needs like a good abode, educational and medical facilities.

Mr. Roger lamented at the poor communication and receptivity standards of engineering students and commended them for the much-needed attitude and aptitude in their pursuit to fulfil their aspirations.

Ms. Joan and Mr. Roger, who stayed at Amalapuram with Satyanarayana Gullapalli, a personality developer, expressed joy over the touching hospitality of the people . She said the strong ethical, religious and cultural values were the factors that brought them together, resulting in their happy and harmonious life.

Ms. Joan, in particular, felt thrilled wearing the traditional saree, and being taken on a palanquin to a marriage at Razole which she attended to learn about the rituals of Hindu marriage.