Welcome to our new installment on the Chennai Challenge Blog.
Quite excitingly we know we have people reading the blog in America, as Bernard told us. As part of today’s program we visited Esplanade branch of the YMCA, the original branch in Chennai started in 1890 and built with English Steel girders. Anyway, we saw Bernard in his office here and he was telling everyone to be careful what they are doing, as it is being reported on the web. his daughter is reading it it in America where she is now and told him. Hello America!
So Esplanade is a nice branch, right opposite the law courts, and the building is great. We managed to go up on the roof which is always fun. We also had coffee and cool drinks, Richard the branch secretary was really helpful, and Alex embarrassed us all by playing snooker with a member. It wasn’t so much the playing as his lack of skill, which he blamed on the cue, lights, chalk, size of the table and pretty much anything else he could.
After this we visited Roypettah branch. Jevakumar, who is secretary here will be in London soon when he has a work permit, and so we may see him at the Indian YMCA student hostel.
i was a little bit sad the paintball was gone as I was looking forward to having a go. there was a huge construction on the grounds which was a temporary structure for am exhibition that had been on.
We departed and headed toward Boys Town to visit the school. On the way we stopped near tidel park to grab some lunch. We had some trouble in getting in to the place as we needed photo ID. our driver phoned Govinath and we got in anyway. Rob, Cathy and Isaac kept the side up by eating Indian. Fraser, Al, Shauni and Alex disgraced us by having KFC and McDonalds. I am sorry, I couldn’t stop them.
We were a little late to the school and Bernard was waiting for us. We had a cool drink and a quick look round before we went in to the Jubille hall. somewhere between 400 – 500 students there and some teachers. Bernard spoke and told us that everyone was happy that we were there, and we could see this in their faces. Rob had the task of introducing the team, Bernard told everyone Auntie Jackie was his Auntie and a huge cheer went up. Bernard was also telling everyone how Rob and Cathy were not married before going to Kottivakkum, then got married. He then mentioned how Nick and Sarah will be doing the same. This could be a new selling point for us, come to India and you will marry someone on team! (This is not a guarantee).
We had some questions from the students about what they wanted, including more classrooms, toilets, computers and drinking water. The Teachers were asking for cupboards in classrooms as well. We will be taking these all into consideration.
We spent a bit of time just saying hello, which was manic, before returning home.
Rob, Cathy and Isaac then met with the Oasis team to finalise some details (including 0615 football tomorrow), then it was to the YWCA for dinner.
Another packed day.
Blog by Rob.
On a side note, last night Fraser had an unproductive time at the internet as he was being chatted up by an Indian girl, she told him all about her families lack of money and asked questions like, ‘are you from the UK’, ‘how much are fees at Cambridge University?’ Thankfully Auntie Jackie sat next to her and stared and she stopped talking. If she hadn’t Fraser may now have been married!