The Taj Mahal!
2nd July 2016
Greetings at the end of our second day in Delhi, possibly the wettest day in history. Nothing to do with rain but simply the SWEAT. It was a hot and ridiculously humid day, we’re learning to ESP (Embrace the Sweat Patches according to the schools team, there’s a lot of them (sweat patches that it)) and FTG (flaunt the gorge according to James C).
Early start for a 6.30 departure to Agra. Arriving in Agra, we stopped off at a posh hotel for a drink (we felt very at home here of course) before heading on to the magnificent Taj Mahal – wow! It’s incredible. But having spent about 90 minutes at it, exposed to searing sun and humidity, we were quite happy to make it back to the comfort of A/C in the bus and back to the posh hotel for lunch, which was almost as good as the Taj Mahal itself.
For those of us hoping to come home a few pounds lighter, we’re not off to a good start….. Onwards then to the historic and under–rated Red Fort for another hour of dripping sweat and sunlight, before a brief visit to a craft collective and a coffee stop and then a very safe, relaxing, quiet, peaceful journey home. I’ll let you be the judge of how serious I am in that bit.
India is treating us all well so far. Spirits are high and the craic is mighty. Sometimes it’s totally surreal being here – it’s just a bonkers place. Monkeys, traffic, shrines, begging, heat, cows – India is ridiculous and brilliant.
Love to all xo (Jill. John’s better accomplice.)
Travelling to Dehradun
3rd July 2016
After what felt like an incredibly long day we finally made it to Dehradun where we will be based for the next two weeks. A six hour train journey is never pleasant but the craic with our team along the way made it a lot more memorable. The list of games helped to take our mind off the long road ahead and John managed to beat us all at stop the bus despite a few communication problems – it’s the Newry accent!!!:) Not to mention Bronagh and her classic one liners, this time about monkeys and why they don’t wear clothes over here.
Finally we arrived in Dehradun at around 1pm where we quickly checked into our hotel and grabbed a much needed McDonald’s (possibly the third one in three days). However, we travelled in style and experienced the chaotic traffic in India through the uncertain view from the Vikram (and a lot of horn beeping). After this it was time to plan and prepare lessons for our first day at SNEHA School which we are all excited about.
Today was topped off with a lovely team meal at Salt & Cravings. Although Erin didn’t manage to upgrade much from the McDonald’s, when she ordered a bowl of boiled rice. Anyway, so far India has offered so much and the journey can only get better over the next two weeks.
Over and out – the better Aoife (Aoife B of course)
Good Morning SNEHA!
4th July 2016
Today was a particularly early start to the day for me as I was woken up around 4am by the Call to Prayer which I could hear being recited throughout the streets outside. However nothing could spoil a day like today as I was eager to begin my first day of teaching! The morning was hectic – making sure we all got showered and had enough to eat before getting in a vikram and speeding through the busy streets of Dehradun (not to mention that we were running just a few minutes late).
I was extremely anxious about my first day of teaching however we were welcomed to Sneha school with open arms! No time to relax however as our lessons began immediately. Luckily the first and second lessons were quite simple as we mainly focused on getting to know the class we’d be spending the next two weeks with. My pupils ranged from 9 to 14 years old and luckily they were very welcoming and easy to get along with.
During our break we were able to take part in the unveiling of two new classrooms. This was a deeply emotional experience as the staff and parents were extremely grateful for the help Saphara has provided in funding the new facilities!
The nerves really struck me after this as I knew I would be leading the next lesson. The lesson focused on teaching the children about landmarks around the world. I was very nervous when starting the lesson however this soon faded with the help and support of my fellow students Aoife, Erin and Katie!
We finished the day of teaching with two conversation classes where we got to chat with students only a few years younger than myself. This was very enjoyable as it felt much more relaxed and I got to know the pupils quite well!
The rest of the day pales in comparison to this however it was still filled with many fun moments such as blindly walking through Dehradun with Jill in search of a Fab India clothes store and also taking part in a quiz – which my team won, I might add (sorry to the other team, I had to boast).
Overall it was an amazing day. My favourite moment has to be during my break between classes as we got meet many of the youngest pupils in the school including the cutest little girl who enjoyed running across the playground with not a care in the world! I can already tell it’s going to be an amazing two weeks!
Also, I’d also like to apologise for the length of this blog to the few who made it to the end!
SNEHA Day 2
5th July 2016
So today was our second day teaching at SNEHA and it has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least! Thankfully we were early today so we started things off by watching the most amazing assembly. The children are just so disciplined and respectful, and there’s a genuine sense of community amongst the school population – it’s truly amazing.
We then went on to teach several more of our lessons and I think it’s safe to say that we’re all starting to feel more and more comfortable teaching as the lessons go on. Personally I love leading Class 4 with Ellie and Bronagh, they were definitely destined to choose teaching as their career!
However the most significant part of today was our visit to the marginalised community where a lot of the SNEHA children come from. To be honest I don’t even really know where to start, as nothing that I write will do justice to what can be seen in real life. The cramped conditions are almost indescribable. Several SNEHA children brought us to their homes, introducing us to their families, families of 7/8 people who are all living in single–room houses which are the size of your bathroom, probably even smaller. Sadly one boy we met had to drop out of SNEHA to take care of all his younger siblings after the death of his mother, a hardship so awful which most of us have never faced. Yet what I took away from the visit was rather positive – there was so much pride, so much happiness amongst the kids and mothers showing us their homes. They just get on with things and make the most of what they have. We really do take everything for granted.
After our visit we had a sit down with Dr Reeta which was just so inspiring (if you don’t know who she is please look at her profile on the website like she’s actually my idol). She told us how SNEHA are helping to better the community we visited – as well as education for the children they provide things like medical care, vocational classes for women and mothers such as sewing, henna etc in order to help them learn a living. The list goes on. Hearing her talk was so satisfying because we truly are seeing EXACTLY where all the fundraising goes. So to everyone reading who helped us raise our funds, thank you so much for the continued support, today we realised just how important it is. Every penny makes a difference here. Keep donating!!
Sooo we’ve just finished our day off with a trip to the cinema to see the new Tarzan (it’s really good, highly recommend) and that’s us off to bed ready for another amazing day at SNEHA tomorrow, buzzing as always!!
Lots of love, James xoxo
We Are All In This Together
6th July 2016
Another bright and early start at SNEHA, but nothing but smiles and laughs from the student team. Once again we joined in SNEHAs assembly with the wonderful Nadesh all of us right at the front, (desperate to learn their national anthem so we can sing it with them!). Nadesh is by far one of the most incredible people I have had the pleasure to meet and many of the children at SNEHA have told our team that they want to be like Nadesh as he is so helpful and fun. Inspo.
I teach the lovely class 5 with Aoife B, Caolan and Erin – dream team! We started our first lesson making life size Venn diagrams on the balconys of the school with coloured wool to compare facts about India and Ireland. Even though I have been to India with Saphara before, I still get more amazed each day at how intelligent each of these children are. From being able to identify flags, animals and sports in each country, they had so much fun. Probably because they aren’t used to moving about and being active and joining in with their classmates outside. This may seem weird as this wouldn’t be seen as a typical fun lesson at home. However, these kids appreciate education so much. It’s also great to see the girls of the class confidence grow through lessons like these!
Conversation classes have become one of my favourite parts of the day. It’s different but really great being given the time to chat to children maybe only 2 years younger than us as we find that we can still have the same interests. John cena and Justin Bieber have came up a lot! We spent our conversation classes outside in the new stadium (that Saphara contributed to a lot – so big up all the people reading this who have been so kind and donated. Keep going!) and it was such a chilled atmosphere! We played lots of (sweaty) games and got my hair plaited by Mansi, one of the girls.
We had lots of gegs with our team today during breaks brainstorming ideas for leading the school assembly tomorrow morning!!! At one point we really did look like the cast of pitch perfect just before going on stage. (The cup song was considered) (and practiced many times) (Jill nailed it, Caolan thought he did and James was a mess).
However, we have decided on the classic “we’re all on this together” – HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL as the big number. Me and Bro in our element centre stage (if all goes to plan). After dinner in the hotel, we’ve spent the night practicing the moves down to a “t”. Never mind teaching, all 12 of us have a destined career in musical theatre.
The assembly will also have a thought of the day, Lord’s Prayer, news in Hindi, and some other tunes.
Just chilling with the roomies (shoutout ells, bro and erin) and having an early night as we have a big big day tomorrow!! Katie G
Student Team Leaders Become VIPs
6th July 2017
Our Student Team Leaders, John Doherty & Jill Mulligan, had the great pleasure of meeting the State Congress Vice President Suryakant Dhasmana during the inauguration of the new building at SNEHA that was built with the assistance of Saphara. They also featured in the local newspaper – practically VIPs now!
Hit School Musical Hits SNEHA
8th July 2017
With a slightly earlier start to our normal weekly routine, We arrived at school 30 minutes earlier to rehearse for our big performance!! It was an honour for Sneha to ask us to perform at their special morning assembly. As a group we decided to sing and dance to ‘we’re all in this together’ from the classic high school musical. We changed the lyrics of ‘wild cats everywhere’ to ‘SNEHA is the best’ which evidently went down very well with the audience as they smiled so big and cheered so loud when they could hear the lyrics of their school, which they all cherish so much.
At first, us twelve being centre stage in front of roughly 600 pupils dancing and (trying) to sing was both a scary image and produced sweaty tops immediately but the staff and pupils at Sneha made us feel at ease instantly with their wonderful manners and their enthusiasm to join in. It was a success overall.
‘Mini Sports Day’ began at 8:30am. In Belfast sports day, without fail, is the best day of the school year so I wanted to give the Indian pupils a taste of how we enjoy physical education. It consisted of: A potato and spoon race, a sack race, a relay race and an obstacle course. A passing comment from the class teacher saying, “the children are really enjoying these activities” and the smiles on the children’s faces when participating in group activities with their peers summed up how fun and successful the lesson really was. I must mention that the help of Ellie, James and Jill was much appreciated with sorting pupils in order, fixing equipment and so on. As you can imagine sports day can get messy but as the saying goes ‘A messy lesson is always the best lesson’.
The day continued to be filled with lots of fun and exhilarating activities. At the end of the day, all conversation classes combined into one big group. We decided to teach the older pupils our ‘cheesy’ high school musical moves, with Katie in the middle strutting her stuff. We then played ‘splat’ and ‘duck duck goose’. Throughout both games, everyone was killing themselves laughing to the point were when the 2 o’clock bell rang we all nearly refused to go home. These simple games were the best fun we have had with the children so far and that was clarified tonight in reflections when most of us said that it was the highlight of their day. However for me, I was really taken back when one boy from my conversation class, Anuj, had personally cooked me a Tandoori Chicken dish because I said that I loved food. Haha. This was one of the most heartwarming things someone has ever done for me, I shed a few tears. Ps just to mention he was late for school today because he wanted to “make it his best”. Awk
We ended the night having a lovely walk around the Indian markets and a meal in salt and cravings. Now we are all hoping to get a good sleep as we have an early rise to make our journey to Missouri. I look forward to another day in India with a fab bunch of people.
Lots of love, Bro xxxx
Our Day at Donk
9th July 2016
Starting off another day in Dehradun the student team were still filled with emotions after the end of our first week teaching in SNEHA (and some of us from getting the hand taken out of us at dinner last night–cheers Caolan). So our earliest start yet didn’t help a great deal with our SNEHA withdrawal; rising like zombies at 6.30 complaining about not being able to teach, skipping breakfast then bombing into the taxis that arrived to take us for our trek to Donk primary school (after huge debate about Bronagh’s outfit choice). After all the complaining about leaving SNEHA I don’t think any of us thought today would be just as amazing and enlightening an experience.
The taxi ride was a whole experience in of itself, with monkeys running out in front of the car I was in and a pack of about 15 dogs just appearing from the side of a mountain at one point–not to mention the cow just chilling in the middle of the road while two cars tried to get around it–before we arrived at the starting point of our walk to the school where one of the sweetest moments of the trip so far happened. Katie and Ellie suddenly left the group trying to sort out the bags to go towards some girls from Kaplani High School, which we visit tomorrow; some of the same girls they had taught two years ago on their first Saphara expedition.
This beautiful moment was then swiftly undercut with one look at James’ outfit, trousers tucked in socks, towel around his neck and headband on like something out of “Let’s Get Physical”. He pulled it off though.
After the School teams arrived we then began our trek to the school through the foothills of the Himalayas. The mist coming through the trees and across the path was so gorgeous and mysterious that you could almost forget the thirty foot drop beside the two foot path you were trying not to fall off. It’s a dangerous walk and it’s amazing to think that school children make it twice a day, some coming from even further away to make it a five hour round trip. When we supposed adults could barely do it for one day it gives a huge sense of perspective to how much we take education for granted in wealthier countries.Especially once we met the children of Donk who were so vibrant and happy after walking all that distance, probably while we were still in bed or half asleep in a taxi.
Everything about the short time we spent at the school was perspective shifting, from the tour of the local houses by our MGVS guide Surrender who has worked in this community for over 20 years, to seeing the children learn and play, to their final assembly with one child acting as drill sergeant to the others (so cute that James just “couldn’t deal”). We all loved playing with the kids and were sad to leave them because of how grateful and happy they all where, and because of the dreaded walk back.
Going uphill made the journey twice as hard, and us twice as embarrassed when a local woman was dandering along with us like it was nothing. She takes the round trip every day to teach at the school and was making us look like sweaty eejits (not that we needed any help with Katie singing High School Musical and me blaring out a bit of Dora the Explora).
After all that we went back to our hotel with an altered perspective, which seems to happen every day but that’s just the power of seeing these communities.
Kaplani Celebration Day
10th July 2016
So today we enjoyed a much anticipated celebration day at Kaplani High School which took the attention of me turning 20 today. After our trek to Donk primary school the previous day we woke up to the beautiful mountainous Mussoorie rather stiff but ready to go.The first part of our morning involved joining in a workshop run by Surrender Singh which emphasised rural poverty and different ways MGVS and Saphara have tried to help the problem in Mussoorie. We all found it very interesting and enjoyed listening to Surrender as he’s a pretty cool guy.
What a great way to spend my 20th birthday; in India, with a great bunch of people and heading to Kaplani where I’d taught two summers ago. Since my first time in India with the Saphara school team back in 2014, Kaplani has had a special place in my heart. The quaint little school in the Himalayas is truly something special.
The celebration day involved celebrating the graduating class of 2016 and students who received Saphara scholarships. The ceremony involved Christine, Jill and John presenting each pupil with a personalised certificate recognising their results and hard work this academic year. It was safe to say both the graduating pupils and their teachers were very proud of their achievements and everyone on the student team shared in this feeling.
We were further privileged to have some previous graduates of Kaplani HS at the ceremony, and we very much enjoyed chatting to them about their lives after Kaplani as many are now in college or already pursuing careers of their own. I and the rest of my team felt immensely privileged to have been part of today as it was such a special programme.
As an added bonus the students in our team who had previously been out with saphara got the chance to meet some pupils we had taught in Kaplani and were very taken back to learn that many had remembered us after all this time. Definitely a special feeling.
After our morning at Kaplani, we thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon browsing in the Mussoorie markets. Lots of scarves, prints and inscents were bought so I’m sure many of you reading will be very well dressed and have great smelling homes when we return!!
After a jam packed day we headed back to Dehradun via the twisty but extremely scenic drive down the Himalyas. The views were definitely screensaver material.
Having made it back in one piece we are now chilling in the hotel, resting our calf muscles (Trekking may have almost killed us all) and ready for bed.
So that’s a wrap, turned 20 in India, not too shabby at all.
Over and out, Erin xxxxxx
10th July 2016
Today marks the passing of the midway point of our trip to India so what better a day to look back on our experience so far. For three years I had wanted to join Saphara to help teach the children and experience the different way of living over in India so I was over the moon when I found out that my wish had been granted back in January. It was a tough few months with many personal highs and lows while raising the money required and admittedly I was a bit lazy at times but being here now I know that it was all worth it.
There have been so many good times that I know I’ll remember for years to come. Visiting the Taj Mahal was amazing. It’s one thing seeing such an amazing landmark on the internet but experiencing it in real life is indescribable. It doesn’t stop there however. Things such as visiting the slums and through the Himalayas constantly have me pinching myself to remind myself that it’s all real. Particularly the visit to the slums which added a lot of perspective for me: I complained about sharing a room with my brother when these people, whose houses were smaller than my room, shared with eight people. The entire student team left with a greater sense of respect for these people who work so hard for so little yet still always seem to be so appreciative of what they do have.
And speaking of the student team, I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to share this experience with. Each person adding their own personal touch to the team dynamic: Erin with her random singing throughout the day; James and how he neeeever sweats even when it’s 40°C; Fionntán and his surprisingly dark humour; Dayna and her surprisingly darker humour and also how she always loves a good laugh; Aoife B and her super strength make up which never seems to fade even in the humid Indian weather; Katie and how here heart melts every time she sees her classes; Brónagh and her hilarious one liners; Aoife S and her funny little comments (”Don’t choke it.” – inside joke…); Ellie and her constant smile; and of course our two amazing leaders, John and Jill, who have kept us right along the way!!
I grown so close to the whole team and I love that I’m getting to experience it all with them. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch. The most important aspect of the trip, and the reason we are all here, is the children. I’ve met hundreds of inspiring children that I don’t think I’ll soon forget. It’s great to see that they do genuinely appreciate and enjoy our lessons and company. I’ve never met a more enthusiast bunch of children in my life.
Gandhi had a quote: “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” – This quote really stuck to me as I often wonder what one person can do. As a single person I can’t help every single child but it’s not about helping everyone on the planet. It’s about helping as many people as you can. If you can only help one person ever then it is so important that you do help that person. This has been an amazing trip so far and we have had our highs and lows but it’s just important to look back and see that it’s not about us but about helping these children in whatever way we can.
I’m looking forward to the week ahead. Many more lessons to be taught, laughs to be had and memories to be made. Now I have to go. We’re going to see Finding Dory. I’ve waited thirteen years for this sequel and I’m not sure I’m mentally or emotionally prepared it… Wish me luck.
Caolán out. P.S. Sorry if this blog was a little bit cheesy – it’s been an emosh week.
Another Brilliant Day
11th July 2016
Waking up at 7am again this morning was definitely worth it as we returned back to the buzz of Sneha. We were all incredibly excited to be back amongst the children and teachers of the school.
My teaching group began the day with a co–ordinate lesson and moved on to learning about how to structure a letter. Thanks to Mr Meighan’s P7s back in Belfast we were able to provide our class with letters from Ireland, giving the pupils an insight into a different culture. The children were delighted with this and were so enthusiastic in writing their replies.
The enthusiasm continued as we were called by Nadesh who began to teach us a song for Thursday’s assembly in secret. In typical Nadesh fashion our song will be accompanied by an over–the–top, energetic dance and lots of surprises for the pupils.
We then moved onto our conversation classes with the older pupils. Today we discussed the importance of Sneha and the wider community. It was amazing to hear how much the class valued their education and really made me realise how lucky I am for the opportunities I receive back home. The class was finished with James being defeated in an arm wrestle and everyone in high spirits, excited for our the rest of the week.
After a long, but another brilliant day at Sneha, we treated ourselves to an Oreo McFlurry and a practice session for Nadesh’s secret dance.
Much love to everyone at home, Ellie xoxo
The Final Tuesday
12th July 2016
Waking up on the final Tuesday of our trip we knew it needed to be one filled with enthusiasm and energy as this would be one of our last days in SNEHA.
Today we rose to the challenge and ventured outside of the classroom for a PE lesson. Despite the threat of the monsoon this was really enjoyable and it was great to see the pupils have fun outside of the classroom.
This evening we allowed our artistic sides to flourish as we began to make goodbye cards for our conversation classes. Tomorrow will be a sad but memorable occasion as we will hand over our cards and enjoy some sweets and biscuits.
All I can say for now is roll on the next few days to make more memories! Aoife
13th July 2016
As we stepped out of the hotel today after having our cornflakes and an abundance of toast, the humidity and the Indian heat hit us with force. It was definitely the hottest day since going to the Taj Mahal at the beginning of the trip. So with sweat already upon us at 8am we got on the Vikrams and travelled to Sneha School for our penultimate day. There was a mix of emotions in the air as we knew that this was our last day we would have conversation classes with the older pupils who we have grown to love over the past two weeks. The teaching classes all went very well and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. When the time came to take the conversation classes we were all very excited like we are every time we see these wonderful pupils, yet we knew we wanted to make it memorable, not only for the pupils but for the team too. We brought sweets and biscuits for them and gave them the cards we had made the night before which they really loved. We said our goodbyes to the classes and left to return to the hotel, feeling extremely gratified to have taught them and to have seen the amazing impression we have had on them over such a short period of time.
In the evening, we arranged to have a meal at “Salt and Cravings” a restaurant we have grown to dream about, that and Oreo McFlurrys in McDonalds. We invited Nadesh to join us as a farewell meal and to show our deep appreciation for the love and kindness he has shown us over the past two weeks; he is such an inspiration to us all and we enjoyed his company while we ate, played games and shared stories. I just wish you all at home could meet Nadesh! Dr Reeta Rao from Sneha sent a beautiful traditional Indian cake to the restaurant which was the perfect end to the evening before heading back to the hotel to prepare for tomorrow’s celebration day at Sneha which we all are very excited for!
See you soon SNEHA
14th July 2016
Our probably final enjoyable early start for our time in India. We were all so excited to go to school this morning, despite the emotional day that we knew lay ahead for us.We have all fallen head over heels in love with SNEHA.
Our emotions were all certainly high on our last teaching day as we all came to the sudden realisation that we would have to say goodbye. To the school itself which was the most welcoming and heartwarming place to ever come into contact with, but also to our students. There wasn’t a person on the team who hasn’t connected with some of the children and teenagers at the school in a deep way and saying goodbye to them could only be described as surreal.
It was a rainy start which got in the way of our assembly plans. However, the legend that is Nadesh still made it work of course. We sang if you’re happy and you know it (classic), but our highlight was hearing the SNEHA song sung by all the pupils on the balconies. “We at SNEHA are the showers of his blessing.”
It was a busy morning for all of us having 3 lessons straight after each other, and probably are most energetic lessons yet but we were absolutely buzzing!
I (Katie) had a great first lesson teaching about how to survive an earthquake, with the children hiding under tables and banging their tables for the noise of an earthquake (HECTIC noises all round) and pulled out different items they might need in an earthquake from a backpack. It’s awesome how these kids can make a lesson that seems so boring, so enjoyable to teach. They are all so enthusiastic and give the biggest smiles every single day.
Our other lesson with class 5Aand B was a quiz, games and our last goodbyes. It’s hard not to have favourites, but it was a great moment for me when one of the smartest little 10 year olds I’ve ever met Archit, got all the questions right and was overjoyed when we gave him a bouncyball as his prize. This little boy tells me every day “mam you’re s intelligent” (i will hold onto this forever as I haven’t heard those words in a long while…) We played lots of other games like heads down thumbs up, hello I’m mr blobby and sang the famous Saphara rendition of the banana song. GO BANANAS GO GO BANANAS!
Not going to lie, I definitely got teary eyed leaving my classes… It’s hard not to. They were the best students we could ask for, and I got to know most of the 84 of them so well! Miss them already…
There was a strange mix or emotions as we saw them perform at the leaving celebration, with some of our students performing a traditional Indian dance which left us incredibly proud and appreciative. It was a striking reminder of how no matter how much we connected with them these two weeks there is always more we can do, more of a connection to make, and more teams to follow who will get to know them even better. With hopefully a few returning members of our own team.
Our celebration day was unforgettable. The teachers and students had organise different cultural dances from Japan to Nepal to our student team getting up and absolutely killin’ it to a new song ntaught to us by Nadesh. (Of course) SNOW SPRAY was in full force!!!! It was the most ridiculously theatrical piece I’ve ever seen never mind been been a part of. Again, we all found it very hard not to get teary eyed especially when Nadesh and 8 mam said a very touching speech about how grateful they were for our teaching and how SNEHA are full of joy whenever we are there. But really it’s all of us, who have the all been truly inspired by every single person we have met at SNEHA. It’s really a beautifully indescribable place filled with the loveliest imaginable people.
The day ended with girls in the community giving us gorgeous hennas and even gave the boys their name in henna! We also received lots of beautiful hand crafted cards from the pupils in our class and conversation class, this was really unexpected!
And after our final goodbyes I can’t imagine anyone doesn’t feel a profound need to return. For some of us the final goodbye was too much to handle with James shedding a tear and Fionn openly weeping when presented with a card from his oldest classes who will also be leaving the school in the next six months. Maybe even worse was our parting from Nadesh who has become such a figure in the last two weeks it still feels like we’ll see him every morning.
A few of us managed to keep some composure but could not help leaving deeply affected by the entire experience and holding a new perspective. We have had the best day ever. An overwhelming crazy roller coaster. SNEHA it’s never a goodbye it’s a see you later!
Peace and Love, Katie G and Fiontann
Rishikesh and Haridwar
15th July 2016
This morning we woke up to a change in routine which unfortunately did not involve travelling to Sneha School. This was something all of us found strange as it had become normal and part of our day. Instead we enjoyed some free time as a team and set off to explore a new area of India, Riskikesh. We were all excited for a spot of sight seeing.After a dodgey bus journey we landed to our glamorous hotel which was situated on the bank of the Ganges, only to find our rooms had been upgraded to ones with a balcony view of the famous river. Next on our list was to pay a visit to Neer Waterfall which didn’t disappoint.
After a short trek up the Himalayas (nothing compared to Donk) we made it to the top waterfall. After the journey up we were all more than ready to cool down and enjoyed some games in the pool. I think we all came to the conclusion Bronagh won shoulder wars. We then set off home and by this stage we were all more than ready for a dominos pizza (which we never want to see again in a hurry when we get home).
To end a great day tonight we went to Haridwar to take part in the Arti Festival and sent flowers down the Ganges. This was a great experience and we all enjoyed taking part in some of the Indian culture. Today was just the start of a brilliant last weekend in India before it all comes to an end.
Over & out the two Aoife’s