Decided to make the most of our long nine hour flight by writing out the blog of our final day in beautiful India.We had our final breakfast together at the YMCA yesterday morning, packed the remainder of our belongings and had a brief catchup with Matt from Oasis for the last time this year. We had plans to visit Fort School, but of course the plan for the day does change quite frequently on project so we ended up not visiting in the end. As we had a few hours free before our final meeting with the boys, we popped to Spencer Plaza for a lunch together and had a brief look around.
We then went for the inauguration of the new hall at Boys Town, which wasn’t quite finished but the YMCA wanted us to inaugurate it while we were still there. Cathy said a few words, cut the ribbon and we had a round of applause from the boys. We then headed to the Jubilee Hall where we presented the boys with their school books and medicines for the following year, which is what some of the fundraising money goes towards each year. The boys were then ecstatic with the goody bags that we gave to them all, filled with fun items such as a light up spinny toy and a bandana, also accompanied with essentials such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.
Our final meal for the boys was mutton biriyani, which we served for them and there was enough for seconds for them all. It’s a big difference from the sort of Indian takeaway you get in England!
Once the meal was over, we all got up on stage and danced to many Tamil songs for the remainder of the time we had with them. This is a very positive note to end our project on, as its makes it a celebration instead of being a large emotional goodbye. Some of the older boys who have left Boys Town and our now employed also dropped by to say hello to the team.
Leaving India this year has been a lot more difficult than it was last year. The fact that I knew I’m not returning to India next year made everything that little more harder, especially when the boys ask if they’re going to see you again the following year. It also feels odd as India does truly feel like a second home and going back to the England seems completely out of the question, but even so we’re on our way back now anyway! Nevertheless, I know for a fact that I’ll be going back again in the future so that makes everything feel that little bit better.
We’re now on the aeroplane on our way back to the UK. It only feels like yesterday that we were first heading over to Chennai, but at the same time it seems like a long while ago aswell. I have had the most amazing two and a half weeks which I will always treasure, having spent it with a wonderful team and such wonderful people in India aswell. I could not be more thankful of everyone that has made our project possible and I am still so thankful of all the support we have been receiving from the UK. An overview of the project donations will be published very soon.
Chennai is beautiful and completely life-changing; I cannot urge people enough to apply for next year’s project.