Diary of 2018 Project

Written as a way of reminding herself what she had been up to, here is a diary from the 2018 trip, which returned on 31st August.

For those of you who think my trip to India was just frolicking around in a pretty sari, I wrote down what we did each day so you can get an idea that it was actually the opposite!!

It was an absolutely mental and full on experience but one I will definitely never forget – bonus points for commitment if you read to the end!!

– Arrived at airport at 4am (local time)
– Had around 4 hours sleep
– Team meeting at 11am
– Lunch
– Went to change some money and do some shopping
– Went Sari/Chuddada shopping
– Dinner
– Watched a cricket match

– Breakfast
– Team meeting at 9
– Went to Oasis and met the team and asked questions
– Lunch
– Went to Fort school and got shown around by the headmistress (kids running out of their classes to say hello/shake our hands)
– Went to YMCA Kottivakkum boys town (lots of thumb wars and pattacake games)
– Went to YMCA Tondiarapet community centre (more than 50 very energetic kids, tried the human knot game, sung some songs)
– Went to YMCA sath manager community centre (did some songs and games)
– On journey back at 8ish, in heavy rush hour traffic
– Dinner

– Meant to wake up at 5.20 for football (set alarm for 5.20 and 5.30)… and got woken up at 8.40 by Isaac and Imogen
– Breakfast at YMCA
– Team meeting at 9 o’clock
– Yellagiri planning day (for 4-day activity holiday)
– Lunch
– Went for juice
– Rainy rainy rainy…!
– Thank you dinner with Oasis team

– Independence Day (the team split into 3 but this is my day…)
– 8 o’clock flag raising and meeting at YMCA
– Breakfast
– Sathymanagar community centre flag raising
– NMS fete
– YMCA Kottivakkum Boys town session
– Dinner


– Arrived after a 5ish hour journey and had lunch
– Met with the boys (41) in the hall and split them into teams
– Teams make banners and badges and played name games for the leaders to know their teams
– Dinner
– Evening devotion (songs, mini talk on Abraham)

– Coffee at 6.30am
– ‘Morning jerks’ wake up/warm up activity with the boys at 7am
– Breakfast at 8am
– Morning devotion at 9am
– 4 hours of space themed activities (sandwiched with tea and lunch)
– Rockets and spinners, galaxy slime, space hoops, asteroid games
– Tea break
– Visit to the boathouse in the evening (walk around the lake, play in park)
– Dinner
– Evening devotion

– Coffee at 6.30am
– ‘Morning jerks’
– Breakfast
– Morning devotion
– I lead my activity (space ball games) – other activities: face painting, boppers, space mobiles, parachute capsule games (4 hours of activities again)
– Wide game (aim: to have as many balls in your base, but you can steal from others)
– Campfire prep
– Dinner
– Campfire!

– Climbed Bare Rock Mountain at 7am
– Breakfast
– It’s a knockout!
– Points, presentation, prizes, photos
– Lunch
– Packing up
– Visit to YMCA vellore on the way back
– Dinner back in Chennai

– Breakfast at 8.30am
– Team meeting at 9am
– Oasis Blue edge english session
– Lunch with YMCA board
– Second Oasis Blue Edge english session
– Spencer plaza shopping centre
– Dinner

– Breakfast at 8.30
– Team meeting at 9
– Watched parts of an Indian Folk Dance competition held at the YMCA (where we were staying)
– Planning for sessions
– The flute bonanza! (See previous post)
– Lunch
– YMCA Kottivakkum Boys town session 4-6
– Dinner

– Breakfast at 8.30
– Team meeting at 9
– Out to Oasis Blue Edge for team-building/English session
– Lunch
– Back to Blue Edge for second session
– Sathmanager community centre session (cone games, newspaper tower with ball, crocodile song)
– Take away and uno

– Breakfast at 8.30
– Team meeting at 9
– Planning
– Lunch
– Boys town at 4-6 (birthday party theme)
– Dinner

– Breakfast at 8.30
– Planning
– Lunch
– Women’s empowerment session at an Oasis tailoring project
– Sathmanager community centre session (balloon stomp, and lots of songs)
– Footsall spectating at YMCA espland
– Dinner

– Left at 7am for our tourist day
– Breakfast
– Kanchipuram (visited 2 temples, and silk works)
– Motorbike going the wrong way crashed into our mini bus!
– Lunch
– Mahabaliprum (world heritage site)
– Dinner

– Left at 7.45 for Kondbakkum YMCA church
– I was asked to play a song to the congregation, we were then asked to do a session for the children, then watched service from outside… in Tamil
– Lunch
– Tondiarapet community centre giving out clothes (sang some songs)
– Dinner at cinema
– Kalari film (in Tamil, no subtitles…!)

– Breakfast at 9.30am
– Team meeting at 10am
– Me, Izzy and Zoe went to Saravannah stores to get 6 craft items for the sessions (took about 1hour and a half!)
– Lunch
– YMCA Kottivakkum Boys Town session (god who made the universe, singin in the rain, popsico, mingle game, balloon stomp, friendship bracelets)
– Dinner

– Meant to go to football so woke at 5.30 and waited only to find out that it was cancelled…
– Breakfast at 8.30
– Team meeting at 9
– First finance and budgeting session at Blue Edge
– Lunch
– Second finance and budgeting session at Blue Edge
– Oasis After school project at Blue Edge (cultural session)
– Dinner

– Breakfast at 8.30
– Team meeting at 9
– Oasis workers team building session 10-1
– Lunch
– Boys town 4-7 (lots of songs, temporary tattoos, mask making – glitter madness!)
– Dinner with Asir (general secretary of the YMCA in India)

– Breakfast at 8.30
– Team meeting at 9
– Team mentoring
– Lunch
– Shopping time at Saravannah stores
– The team bought the boys a small wash kit and sweet and we all signed a team photograph for the Kottivakkum boys
– Went to YMCA Kilpauk
– Dressed up for last night and went to boys town
– Came back and packed

– Left the YMCA at 1am for the airport
– Flight at 5.30am

Well done – you made it to the end! Hope you enjoyed reading and can understand a bit more of the amazing work that the Chennai Challenge team do each year!

Written by Izzy Stone