The full team was reunited as after a delay on the flight the remaining team members arrived early in the morning. Met at the airport by Isaac they arrived at the YMCA in time for breakfast.
What followed was then a packed, busy and enjoyable day. The schedule first of all took us to meet staff members at Oasis, as we introduced ourselves and Mat explained to the team the work that Oasis does in Chennai.
A brief meeting with the General Secretary at YMCA was followed by a trip to Kottivakkum, the site of the destitute home. A brief description from Isaac and Rob of the various activities they have on site (School, sports, working women’s hostel, destitute home), preceded an introductory session to the Boys at the destitute home. Isaac and Rob led songs and silliness introduce our team to the Boys. There was a lot of energy spent and a lot of fun had. It is always wonderful to see how simple things (Isaac and Rob?) can give such joy. At the end a cup of tea was gratefully received!
After dinner a well earned rest was taken.
Throughout the day Shawndell stayed at the YMCA as she was slightly unwell, and Oli had a trip to the doctors with an ear infection! Hopefully nothing too serious
The third was when things truly got exciting! After the whole team had been reunited and warmly greeted by both the Oasis team and the YMCA General Secretary, we prepared for our first trip to Kottivakkum. We were all very excited for this trip but I don’t think any of us were prepared for how crazy, fun, heart-warming and extremely hot it would be! A ridiculous game of ‘Where’s Andy?’ left the boys in fits of laughter as Rob and Isaac tried to decipher which small Indian boy could possibly be missing team member Andy! The team then finished the day with a well-deserved meal, topped with lots of very sugary ice cream and milkshake.
The day I arrived at 8am! A very long flight but it is fine we finally arrived woohoo! It was a very productive and extremely tiring day; no time for rest but that was fine. We met the Oasis team in the morning, we found out about all the amazing work they do for the community. At this point I knew how worthwhile this trip is going to be, the team greeted us with a rose each which was very lovely. After this we met the general secretary of YMCA who also greeted us with kind words.
In the afternoon we took a trip to boy’s town to meet the destitute boys, the highlight of the day. I was amazed by how happy the boys were and how fun and meaningful that visit was. My emotions were all over the place at this point, I was really excited to meet the boys. We saw the previous work Chennai challenge had done for the destitute boys including building toilets. We played a lot of games with the boys including the name game and yes they all remembered my name by the end, woohoo!