Hello again! Unfortunately I haven’t blogged as much as I would have liked to, but the blogs that have been written by the other team members are brilliant and have depicted the work we have been doing fantastically.
We had an early start again which was tiring for some team members, as we got into bed at roughly around 2am last night, but was worth it as the Tamil movie, Vaalu, was full of singing & dancing, action, romance – everything crammed into a long three hours which we didn’t really understand but was still thoroughly enjoyable. We had our team meeting at around 9am and then went out to buy the last little bits and bobs for the boys’ goody bags. This involved me and Joel counting out 58 bandanas in Saravana Stores, folding them out nicely, only to watch the cashier unfold them all again, and then to watch them be folded up back again by a different cashier. A long and slow process, but always funny. The team then went out to visit the Tondiarpet while myself and Nathan stayed at the YMCA to plan a PowerPoint for our session on Social Media with Oasis.
We then went out for our last meal at the Raaj Bhaavan. I managed to drink a chocolate milkshake successfully, as yesterday I spilt it all down me with my very first sip. I’ve been very lucky not to ruin various shirts this year though, unlike last year where I ended up leaving many behind due to curry stains. I then went to get mehendi on the inside of my arm with Tamsin, which took a lot longer than expected but I’m very happy with the result! Unluckily this meant we missed the rest of packing the goodby bags for the boys, but the team had obviously worked really hard and quickly even without us. They were having a celebratory coffee when we came back.
We then went to Kanigapuram to run our last session on Social Media to a group of young boys from the slums. The session went really well and we taught the boys about creating awareness of social injustice through the use of social media. Many of the boys do not have accounts on Facebook and Twitter, so we taught them how many issues can go viral through the use of hashtags and tweets over social media. We brainstormed some of the issues that were personal to the boys, examples being alcoholism, early marriages, drugs, spitting in the streets, etc. We then explained how by creating a hashtag about these certain issues and tweeting such companies, their voices can be heard a little more clearer and their opinions on these injustices will be brought to light. I was sad that this was our last session with Oasis as I have really enjoyed working with them this year with Blue Edge, ASP and running our other sessions as well as making new friends.
We then were invited to our dear friend Becky’s house for dinner which was a BBQ, a definite first for me in India! The food was glorious as well as the company and Bala and Vijay introduced us to chicken dipped in 7up. It was interesting to say the least!
We’re back at the YMCA now, all tired and ready for bed. I’m trying not to think about the fact that tomorrow is our last day; it feels like we’ve been here a very long time but at the same time it feels like we’ve only been here a short while. India is incredible; every day is completely different but always amazing. Even though I am sad about leaving, I could not be more thankful for our amazing team this year and all of our lovely friends that we have been reunited with or have met for the first time.
India – you are too good.