Hi all, Isaac here. Just thought I would recap the stuff that happened over the last few days in a bit more detail.
First of all the team had the opportunity to visit Kanchipuram. This is a temple town about 2 hours car journey from Chennai city centre and is filled with temples old, new, large and small. As Hannah mentioned we had the opportunity to see the blessing elephants, which was very exciting for all concerned. We also saw very beautiful and very big Hindu towers as per the picture on the right. It is really quite amazing how big and how intricate these temples are considering how old they are. They must have taken years to build. The other thing that Kanchipuram is famous for is silk production. Typically, given the opportunity to visit a silk factory, Suzanne said yes and started off the purchasing! Normally we don’t buy in these shops, but there was no stopping this team. 4 of them (maybe even 5 – I can’t remember) actually bought the same design of scarf. Hanging my head in desperation and embarrassment we left the silk factory.
Independence Day was yesterday – 15th August. As ever, it is a challenging day for many reasons. First of all, being British in a country celebrating its Independence from Britain is interesting. You’re never quite sure how to react or what to say. Sorry doesn’t seem appropriate, and neither does celebration. Nevertheless we arrived at our various appointments, guests of honour across the city at many YMCA centres. The flag hoisting I attended was even being filmed for state television broadcast. Sadly this year we will not have the opportunity to view the programme as we did last year, but perhaps that is for the best. Some of us had cultural programmes with dancing, songs and speeches; others had breakfast and martial arts demonstrations. I give particular praise to Amy and Charlotte who made public announcements at Esplanade, praying and offering a vote of thanks to the guests.
The afternoon was our last chance to spend an afternoon at the Boys Town doing activities. A meal tomorrow night before we leave will be our final visit, but this was the last chance to play games and do craft activities. One particular highlight was Magesh offering us a picture he had drawn as a gift for Malachi – Rob and Cathy (project leaders and co-founders)’s new born baby.
Today has been our final day working with Oasis. 2 teams have visited Blue Edge and 2 different after school clubs. I await their return with baited breath!
I, on the other hand have waited. For the first time this year plans have not occurred when originally planned. It is now nearly 5pm. I had a meeting at 11am which has still not yet materialised. Hopefully at 5 itself the meeting will happen! Still, it offered the opportunity to grab a juice with Becky and Viji from Oasis! Mustn’t grumble. And I am nearly packed. This is unusual to say the least. I’m sure I will be required to unpack and repack everything again before I actually go to bed tomorrow night, but hopefully not.
Well, that’s all from me. Sorry it’s been a long one, but I think some interesting stuff happened over the last few days and you should hear about it! Thanks for reading, see you soon UK!