My experience so far – Chloe

When we stepped out the airport we immediately began to experience what a lively country this is. Despite it being 5am, the city was still awake and the roads still busy. Now a week has gone by and how busy the streets and roads are, still amazes me – perhaps this is something you never quite get used to. Even a short journey in an auto is still exciting because of the very busy roads and the amount you get to see, it is so difficult to describe just how manic it is. Whilst we are driving around, the sights we have seen have been very eye-opening. The poverty levels are so high, and for those who have not experienced this before it is very shocking and at times upsetting. But, the happiness you see all around is so uplifting, those who have so little are so smiley and friendly – it really changes your perspective on life. The culture is something we are all trying hard to embrace; food, clothing, language and traditions. It is one so different to our own but so interesting and I am very much enjoying experiencing Indian culture. It felt very daunting at first to be in a country so unfamiliar but with the help of fellow team members they have allowed me to feel more confident, as well as teaching me many things I had no idea about before the trip. It has surprised me the extent of which people are interested in us too, asking lots of questions and being so friendly and kind to us, we couldn`t feel more welcome and I am so grateful.
The sessions that we have done so far as a team have been extremely fun, although there was quite a lot of planning that had to be done it was worth it. It is so rewarding to see the children and adults enjoying our various sessions. I have found it quite challenging leading sessions and teaching a class, but feel proud of myself and others for challenging ourselves by doing this. A particular highlight has been boys town, the whole team are always so excited so go and we are very much looking forward to Yelligri tomorrow. The appreciation and enthusiasm the boys have for the team is so great to see, it really shows how much they have enjoyed their time with Chennai Challenge in previous years and that the work the charity do is very worthwhile. It makes you feel proud to be apart of this trip and I am really looking forward to what the next couple or weeks will bring.

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