Back in Joy & Joy internet cafe, and feeling mostly fat and prosperous having eaten a fine meal at a new restaurant. Today has been amazing, with lots of achievements.
The team have been successful in putting together a set of activity programmes for when we visit the Boys Town (including games, songs, and craft activities) and bought all the resources necessary to complete said programmes. Indeed this afternoon was our first full 2 hour session at the Boys Town, where we fooled around like the idiots we are, hopefully making the boys laugh as much as we made ourselves laugh! It was an amazing session, and we were privileged to see the boys smiling, laughing and joining in with great enthusiasm with all the planned activities. As the session drew to a close the team found themselves inundated with requests for autographs and signatures. This can of course be a bit of a surprise at first, making you feel like Tom Cruise, or Rajinikanth (Tamil Nadu’s biggest film star!).
Earlier in the day we knuckled down with necessary preparations for teaching health and hygiene lessons for Oasis; organising the required resources; shopping for items still needed; and generally working hard. It can sometimes feel like it takes forever to complete the simplest task here, but today and yesterday have been particularly productive and will stand us in good stead for the coming weeks.
The leadership team also met with General Secretary, Bernard Rajkumar. Yesterday the team discussed which projects they would like to support financially, and had a few questions that they wanted to ask before committing funds. Bernard graciously answered questions and assured us once again that he is keen to ensure that any money we give goes to the most worthy and most vital requirements. Our existing relationship with him is allowing us to develop a more transparent and co-operative partnership with the YMCA, and for this we are very grateful and excited!
One thing to mention is that we have had some very thought provoking and inspiring Thought for the Day sessions so far, encouraging us to think about how we relate to poverty; the hospitality and welcome we have received; the development of the team; and our first impressions of this fantastic city. We hope that these sessions will continue to provide us with opportunities to reflect on the experiences we are all having.
Just to assure you, after all this serious talk, we have had some time for UNO so far. A game which I hate…I won the first round, at which point everyone decided it was a “practise” round. I went on to lose the “real” game. Not to worry!
I think that is about all. I think that everyone is having a good time, and learning a lot, and I am sure this will continue. Sleep is mostly being had by all (even if it’s on the bus on the way back from Kottivakkam!), and everyone is now in fine health. Early stomach bugs have been 24 hour experiences rather than anything more serious.
Thanks for reading, and do keep in contact. Any messages for the group will be greatly appreciated!