Udayan - Day 2

13 February 2007

Today we have had the most remarkable day at Udayan. It began at 7am, when we had couscous for breakfast. We were then given the opportunity to help in a boys’ IT class, using the computers sent over from St. Joan of Arc. They are all greatly appreciated and are being used well.

Udayan Computers

We then attempted to teach the older children some English; however they were already very good so they decided to teach us some Bengali, which we were not so good at!

Chris with the older students

Once the older children had left for school, we went into the younger children’s classrooms and handed out the books and teaching resources that were kindly donated by St. Anthony’s RC School, Slough. We read the stories to the children and then helped them with the mathematics activities within the teaching resources. They seemed to really enjoy our company and assistance and we all found the experience thoroughly interesting and rewarding.

Siobhan with students

Grace with younger students

After another fantastic lunch with James we were then taken to the Gandhiji Prem Nivas Leprosy Centre, which was the first centre set up by Mother Teresa for leprosy sufferers. It is now run by the Missionaries of Charity Brothers. We first visited the cloth factory where leprosy sufferers (recovered or undergoing treatment) are employed. If they did not have this opportunity they would not be able to find work anywhere else. We were also shown around the wards of the centre where patients were resting having received treatment. Furthermore most of the leprosy suffers who are staying with the Brothers undergoing treatment have sent their children to Udayan and were most honoured to have us and James visit them.

We then returned to our hotel for dinner and are looking forward to our visit tomorrow to Asha Niketan, a home that takes care of the mentally handicapped set up by Jean Vanier.


Kathy O'Brien

@ 4421 days ago

Hello Siobhan and everyone else.
Oh WOW, it is all so overwhelming. I have been dipping into the website all day waiting for updates and pictures and must be sufferring from Udayan withdrawal symptons. I certainly haven’t been doing too much work today. I haven’t even got an excuse because I know the time in India just as much as I know the time in the UK as there is a clock on my office wall with the time of Mumbai on it and I deal with India on a day to day basis.
It sounds like a fantastic two days you have had and I’m sure you’ve learnt so much although not a lot of Bengali!!! The children all look very happy and I’m sure they are enjoying having you with them as much as you are enjoying being with them.
Please put some pictures on your tour of Kolkata and Udayan page, can’t wait to see pictures of the Banyan tree and the other sites you saw on your first look round.
Another challenging day tomorrow and Valentine’s day to boot. Remember the package at the bottom of your suitcase Siobhan.
Lots of love to you all, have a super day tomorrow – can’t wait for your update. It’s the highlight of my day.
Lots of love to all, and and extra hug and kiss Siobhan for tomorrow – love you lots Mum xxXXxxXXxx

Kathy O'Brien

@ 4421 days ago

Siobhan been speaking to both Granny & Grandad and Nanny & Grandad, they have all enjoyed reading about your trip and all the fantastic things you have seen and done. They can’t wait for the next installment which I’ll send them at the end of the week.
With all the hustle, bustle and activity whatever you do don’t forget to send the postcards to Jessica and Sophie.
Speak to you soon. Love and hugs Mum XXxxXX

Mrs Byng

@ 4420 days ago

So you finally made it to Udayan. I’m sure it lived up to all your expectations and more. So you all became teachers for the day! I hope Chris you remembered some IT to teach them! The pictures are great, although we always want more – especially with you all in them.

Look after yourselves and continue having a great time.


@ 4420 days ago

so i suppose this is what the journey was mainly about.
really getting to see and contributing to udayan.
i must say it looks amazing and quite surreal to see those computers there!
i bet they dont even need mr. hill!

the pictures are again amazing, especially the ones showing you helping out ect. good olde chris helping out, siobhan – just like you in the common room p3 on wednessdays and neal hiding haha!

just thought i’d feel you in neal: we cancled PL, and town. ermm it was WHAMO. usual thing: moons,barme,then desto.. foam party.. was MENTAL.
will fill you in more later.

anyway, hope it continues as it has, and that you will continue enjoying it!
keep up the good work and reports!

take care,

love BELL

barbara & peter oliver

@ 4420 days ago

dear katherine and all loved the photos of in the classroom at udayan more of the same please? 7pm here just got home from work drinking my tea as i write to you-your probably tucked up in bed? tomorrow is valentines day sending you all hearts and flowers dont know how to send pics in my msg but sending them anyway. have another wonderful day all our love take care xxxxxxxxxx

Kathy O'Brien

@ 4420 days ago

Hi Siobhan, Just caught up again with Nanny & Grandad and Granny & Grandad, they are really over the moon at receiving the info of your trip. Nanny said to tell you that Grandad O’B read it through completely before his breakfast and he doesn’t normally read anything before eating. A message from Granny Walls, she was showing Pauline who thought it was absolutely amazing and of course Niamh was there. She looked at Granny and Pauline and said “can she speak Hinjun”. You can just see her saying it, she was quite perplexed at how you had actually got to India – a geography lesson for a 4 year old is obviously on the menu. You had better learn some Bengali before you get back to the UK because she will expect you to at least say “hello Niamh how are you?” in an Indian language. If necessary I’ll get Manesh to help us.
You are all tucked up in bed now – or you should be so anyway goodnight, God Bless and we’ll talk tomorrow. Love always Mum xxxxXXxxxx

Emily O'Neill

@ 4420 days ago

Wow you guys, what an amazing adventure!! And hey couscous, see it’s not all rice :) Can you please try and learn some Bengali and teach it to us in a pshe lesson or something cos that would be really fun! Tomorrow looks like it’s gonna be another fantastic day too!!!
Ooo Katherine we got Mimi’s birthday present, shall tell you all when you’re home!
Love to you all


@ 4420 days ago

Hey all, sounds like your having a fantastic time! really strange to actually see you all in udayan after planning it for so long! hope your all enjoying every minute of it tho. Really interesting reading all your diaries.

Grace been missing you so much :( but nice to see all the pictures :p missed you at the parties, its just not the same hehe.
Katherine, Liz and Grace it was a shame you missed kellys party was really good! oooo liz they played the yogi bear song (yuji) lol!!!! got some news for you about that subject wen you get back liz and grace :p

anyway hope it all continues to go well, il message again soon
Love you loads, stay safe
Hannah xxxxx


@ 4420 days ago


WOW! Learning Bengali sounds amazing!Youll definitely have to teach me a few words when u return!!!
Sounds like another great day and something else to add to your list of amazing experiences!
Just out of interest, whats the time difference over there?Because ive just text some of you and realised it may not be a sane time!! cue chris’ blonde jokes

Looking forward to your next installment!



@ 4420 days ago

Hello everyone again!
im loving the pictures! you all look like you are really getting the most from your trip and giving just as much back to the children! tho Siobhan looks like she is giving a manicure to the girl in that picture rather than reading to her! :p and it looks like the children where every interested in what you where teaching them chris!!
oo oo what is my pressie!! now wait dont tell me, i want it to be a supprise! :p ahhhhhh! 14 days to go!! :D anyway lol nuff bout me!
i cant wait to see you all back home now!! missing you like crazy katherine! please can you and your new scarf pose for a photo soon!
love Mimi!
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx huug!
p.s it was a lovely suprise to find you on msn earlier today kat! shame you couldnt stay long! xxx

matt f

@ 4420 days ago

So, you’ve got to the heart of the trip now, and it looks great. Amazing to see you all there. Spoke to Mike and Siobhan on MSN earlier, they got me up to speed. Mother T’s Home for the Dying tomorrow? Everything looks to be very moving but I’d iamgine that will be something else really. Looking forward to hearing tomorrow evening.

Matt x

mrs weldon's son

@ 4420 days ago

wow, that’s amazing just reading about it – cannot imagine how you guys are feeling now you’ve finally made it to udayan after working so hard to get over there and raise money for them. must be absolutely surreal for you all.

hope all goes well, take care

special hi to mum


xXx FraNceSca xXx

@ 4420 days ago

So this is what we’ve all been waiting to see!!! and another WoW and gasp at the amazing write up and pictures! Lovin your piccy Chris-all the children look really intrigued and i bet they all love you!!
Siobhan-yay can finally see you in a photo properly!! I bet you found the teaching sooo rewarding and loved every minute!
And Neal-hiding behind lol i hope your tan is coming on well hehe :P
Graciepooo im lovin the scarf :P and the children are clearly enjoying every minute of your company, its so good to see how the children are being helped and looked after. Must have been kinda weird to see our old Joanie computers there!
Where are you Shane?! not like you to be camera shy hehe :P not long til your bday ma luv!! Was it you or Katherine that txt me 2 say well done for my driving test??
So i already knew that you had done all this , thank youuuuu Siobhan for my daily update, and as soon as i got home from Bournemouth Uni – its now 10:30, i logged in to have a look!! Bournemouth went really well, i hope! got 2 record ourselves on radio and interview each other in the TV news room. Then had to write a piece on these apple mac computers that i sooo didn’t know how to use lol about our favourite magazine/newspaper etc. Had a lot of fun and i’ll know soon whether i got in or not!!! :O

The leprosy centre must have been really emotional to see and 2moro will be just as heartwrenching. Wish you all the best of luck, it all looks very moving.
Looking forward to reading the report 2moz.

Loadza love and huggles and HAPPY VALENTINES DAY 2 YOU ALL for 2moro lol xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
ps. i know you’ll be reading this Kathy so thank you for my card! :P xXx

David & Tracy

@ 4420 days ago

Vey good peeps! :>)

Looks like you’re at the main part of the trip now. Think I used one of those PC’s at one time or another! Glad to see our Poker nights and hard work is helping those kids. Keep taking the pics. I like the ones where you’re with the children. Take some more of those!

Keep up the work guys.

Valentines day over here now! Jazz…Nice! Just need a card now :>( (On from India will do!)


Kathy O'Brien

@ 4420 days ago

Good morning all, mid afternoon for you guys, and Happy Valentines Day – hope you loved the chocolates – should have been enough to go round. Hope you are having a wonderful day. It’s absolutely lashing down here today. You must be getting quite tanned now – even Siobhan with her factor 50. If India can’t do it Siobhan nowhere can. Loved all the pics of your first day at Udayan and that tree looks fascinating.
Speak to you all later when I catch up this afternoon, today I’m going to do some real work.
Lots of love Mum xxxXXXxxx


@ 4420 days ago

Hi Siobhan bet ur surprised to hear from me! Sounds like ur having a fab time in India. Have read all the info on what u’ve all been doing and have seen all the fab photos. U will have to fill me in on everything when u get back. Will try to get another look and update on ur trip before the end and send u another message, but if not carry on doing a great job and keep up the good work and having fun. Am at Tricia and Graham’s so that’s why i have been able to send this message. Take care, lots of love always Cecilia xxxxxxxx.


@ 4420 days ago

happy valentines day to all.

and mrs weldon, you should receive my card soon.

hope today goes well.

take care

love BELL

Danny Risdon

@ 4419 days ago

Just thought I’d pop by and say hello. Seems you are having a good time in India, and luckily I’m having a good day too. I’m 17 today and Arsenal knocked Bolton out of the FA Cup. Also, happy birthday to Matt Flood! Anyway, enjoy the rest of your trip.