Well, I was suppose to be uploading a rather long blog that Rob wrote on the laptop onto the website. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a working USB port on this computer, so that will have to wait!
His blog was all about the day he spent waiting to buy things for Boys Town. Lizzie had the joy of accompanying him on a trip to the mattress shop and the pipe shop (not smoking pipes – water pipes…for drainage). This involved some cool drinks, some auto rides, some waiting, some back and forthing – all as per our expectations. In the meantime the rest of the team were working hard on preparing resources for and then leading our sessions with the Blue Edge students and at the BV Colony School in Vyasarpadi. A really amazing afternoon, with a lot of fun and hopefully some learning involved!
Yesterday the team visited Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram and got a chance to spend the day enjoying some of the rich culture and heritage of this incredible country. Both Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram are temple towns, with a range of very different styles and ages of Hindu temples. They also bought drums from very insistent sales men.
And whilst they did that Cathy and I (this is Isaac by the way) got the chance to visit boys town and meet with Vignesh. Vignesh was at Boys Town from 2002 until 2010. 8 years of his life were spent with annual visits from either Guildford YMCA or Chennai Challenge. Indeed his first year was my first visit to India. As such I have developed a certain bond with him and last year we were both very upset that we wouldn’t see each other again. It was amazing to get the opportunity to see him and hear how he is doing. It turns out he is now studying at a hostel/school in Tiripattur (near to Yellagiri Hills) and had persuaded somebody to take him all the way to Chennai (a 6 hour journey) to visit me and Cathy. This is quite humbling and quite amazing. I am so glad to say that he is well and studying hard at +1 (the equivalent to lower sixth) and hopes to go to University to gain a BA in Engineering. He told us that he is also working in a kitchen in the holidays to make some money.
So that is what has inspired the title of this blog. It was brilliant to get to see him.
This morning we visited Boys Town as a team to find that the stormy weather has had a negative impact on the site and on their lives. The water level was very high and almost inside the buildings. As Rachel reminded us in thought for the day, it is easy to forget the way the boys live when we spend so much time having fun with them. But there it was, almost 2 feet of algi covered water, creeping towards the boys already low standard dorms. They have been moved into an alternative building while the water is there, but until the drainage problem is solved this situation will get worse and worse.
Hopefully the solution is being worked on now, with help from our funding last year and some additional funds this year. It is our hope that next year we will find the site much improved, with more effective drainage solutions.
Well, I’d best be off. Got to get back to meet the rest of the team. Thanks for your listening ear, and speak soon!