Finally 13 days after this years’ trip began, I am sitting down writing my first blog. There are many reasons for this; one going straight to Yellagiri the day after we arrived and two being ill for the first time in India (well in a couple of years – typical).
What have we been up to for the last few days? I hear you ask.
So Saturday morning at 7:45am, I opened my door to the illustrious leader we call Isaac. Unfortunately this was to inform me of his sudden illness and of my sudden promotion for the day!
Straight away I knew this was not going to be a day like all the rest, as we have been unusually on time for everything so far – much to the amusement of Isaac and annoyance of Rob.
So I led the team in our prayers, breakfast and team meeting. So far so good!
11am came – time to go to the community centres. Our bus was here on time – Yes! As the team ambled onto the bus, I went to the YMCA staff and asked who would be our guide for the community centre tour. The response was unexpected “No one is coming with you mam.” OK…so… this was not going to be as easy as I originally thought but I walked to the bus cool, calm and collected and explained we were going solo! Off we went on our community centre adventure!
After an hour and a half we finally arrived at Sathymanagar. We were greeted by the usual smiling faces and inquisitive children. This community centre is the most active of all the YMCA community centres yet it is the smallest – the 12 of us just fit comfortably. This centre has been one which for many team members is special mainly due to the community which it supports. In the future we will be looking to rebuild it making it a larger, lighter and a more useable space.
We also had the opportunity to look around Tondiarapet, a centre we extended three years back. We were pleased to see that it is still active and in good condition.
So we were now behind schedule and had 50 minutes to grab lunch at Spencer Plaza and cross the city to Kottivakkum.
50 minutes later we arrived at Kottivakkum – We did it thanks to our slightly crazy bus driver! We enjoyed a good games session with the boys and had great fun.
Sunday – KATE’S birthday!
Unfortunately Kate was not well today – what timing!! However we still woke her at 8am with a well sung ‘Happy Birthday’, a tasteful card and the gift of a hairbrush (as Kate forgot to pack one!)
As she returned to her bed, we prepared her ‘Surprise Birthday Party’ session at Kottivakkum and had free time for personal shopping.
Then the afternoon came, Kate had made the decision to stay in bed as she felt too unwell to come to Boys town with us so she missed her own birthday party! However the boys sang twice as loud and had lots of fun playing party games, making bunting, party hats and cards for Kate.
After the session we looked around the Kottivakkum site. Again the team were struck with how little the boys have – linking to Hannah’s recent thought for the day where we thought about materialism, how much we have and how fortunate we are.
Today Isaac and I have met with GS Daniel and spoke about possible projects. We will keep you up to date on these as they are confirmed.
The team have delivered their 3rd sessions at blue edge, teaching body parts and conversational language.
My team this afternoon went for our first visit at BV colony school. Again there were children who remembered me from last year which shows the impact we have on these children’s lives. The session was the quietest I have ever experienced there as they were so engrossed in sewing their animal hand puppets.
We now look forward to the Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday, a meal with Oasis and hopefully the laying of the foundation stone at Fort School.