17 February 2011

After a 7.30 start, a lie in for us, we finally made our way towards Udayan, the pinnacle of the trip for all of us. The busy Calcutta traffic meant it took us about an hour and a half to get to get there. It was lovely to be greeted by Shanti, Lachmi, Asha and Tumpa: four of the 7 class XI girls whose studies we are helping to support through fundraising at St. Joan’s. Fortunately, they had a day off school today and gave us sweet smelling garlands of yellow marigolds to wear around our necks as a celebration of our arrival. We were also handed a calendar and the recent issue of Dawn (the Udayan newsletter). We were taken on a tour of the school; we saw the children in their classes, visited their dormitories and their sports hall. We were also shown clothes and accessories embroidered by some of the girls in a new training project.

Once we had visited the school Dominic and Joe performed ‘Horse with No Name’ by America for the children before they had their lunch which the assembly seemed to really enjoy. We then had delicious fish curry, made by Sanjay the assistant cook, before we left for the Missionaries of Charity Brothers’ Leprosy Hospital at Tittagarh. One of the Brothers showed us the different wards where many of the patients were being treated and the workshop where the prosthetic limbs were made, which we all found a very touching experience. This was further enhanced by the greeting we received from many patients. In the textile workshops the brothers give paid work to many able bodied leprosy sufferers who sat spinning yarn, which is also dyed there, or skilfully weaving fabric to be made into saris. Indeed, we saw them making the blue edged white cotton cloth favoured by Mother Teresa and still worn today by The Missionaries of Charity Sisters. Outside we saw the vegetable gardens and a small farm unit where pigs and goats are kept to increase the sustainability of the community.

Once back in Kolkata, we went to the local market to purchase our Indian dress for the celebration of our final meal and show at Udayan on Monday. We were met by a frenzied state of hard selling which resulted in each of us coming out with a smile on their face, pleased with their purchase. We have all eaten and are now off to rest ourselves for another busy day tomorrow, thank you to all readers for your continued support.


Lorena year 6 St John's school

@ 2955 days ago

What was it like meeting all the children?

jean-luc year 5 st johns

@ 2955 days ago

hi everyone
I hope you are enjoying udayan and are all the children happy to see you.
well i think they are.
Is the place exciting?
I hope i was there with you
I hope all is well
love from jean-luc


@ 2955 days ago

Hi all, what a very moving welcome you received and another amazing day. We were hoping to see you all in your Indian Dress for the celebration of your final meal. Any photos? Thank you for your continued updates, it’s been great for us to ‘follow you around’. Best wishes and safe travelling to all. x

Justin Coo

@ 2955 days ago

Dear All, we have been following your trip with great interest and reliving our own time when we were out there in 2007. We’re sure the trip will leave you with amazing memories for the rest of your lives.

A quick message for Mummy (Kathryn). Sorry you couldn’t join us for my birthday dinner this evening but we’ll definitely catch up once you’re home! Keep the water bottle filled with the Getting through INdia juice.

With lots of love from Baby Boy and D’n‘L x

Paula Smith

@ 2955 days ago

I am loving every minute of your trip! Thank you so much for the diary entries – they are bringing your experience alive to us back here in drizzly England. I really get the sense that this is a life changing experience for you all and that makes for fascinating reading. You are bringing Udayan to life for us and it alsmost feels as if we have been there too. You, the children and staff of Udayan, the patients and staff at the hospital are all in our prayers. What a wonderful way to celebrate Education Sunday, thinking about all the learning that is happening not only throughout your visit, but through the work of so many people and the fundraising efforts of everyone. God Bless you. Mrs Smith (St Johns)

Lauren Dunlop

@ 2955 days ago

Hi Everyone,
Really enjoying reading your amazing experiences from Kolkata and you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Enjoy your evening and safe journey to the next stage of your travels. Big Hugs to Shaunagh from all of us at home xxx

Emily,Victoria and Joel Year 6 st johns

@ 2954 days ago

Hi guys

What’s the weather like? It must be great over in India!
I heard you had a suitcase full of teddies and books! Did the children like them?
14 hours on the train WOW!
Hope you reply and by the way hope you are ok

Victoria, Emily and Joel x

Arun and Abbie

@ 2954 days ago

Hi everyone, How is India?
We wish we were there, and hope you are having fun.
Please report back soon on what’s happening.
See you when you come to talk to us.

Elliot & Henry St Johns catholic primary school Year 6

@ 2954 days ago

Hi Udayan,
We were just wondering what are you up to? Because we bet you’re having fun with all the children and we hope you have a save journey back to England.
From Elliot & Henry

Callum Clark year 6

@ 2954 days ago

Hello to the people of S.T Joan of Arc,
since your all at Udayan I thought that I would send you this message!
What is it like in Udayan? and is it hard teaching the children there how to read?
Hope you have a good time

From callum Yr6 St Johns school.

Brooke and lily from St.Johns

@ 2954 days ago

Hi everybody
Are you enjoying yourselfs in India. It must be intresting visiting Udayan. How did the children from Udayan react when you gave them the books and teddys? What has been the best moment yet in India? Is life different there than from in england?
hope everything goes well
from Brooke and Lily xx

Lorena and Ben St.Johns

@ 2954 days ago

Hi everyone
It must be amazing actually being able to see the children in Udayan.
We hear about these children all the time so actually being able to see them must be magical.
Please can you send some pictures of where you are sleeping?
You are so lucky to be in Udayan!!!!!!
Have fun tomorrow
Ben and Lorenaxx

Tom & Noble

@ 2954 days ago

Are you glad that you went on this trip?
How did you feel when you gave the teddy’s and the books to the children n Udayan?
The journey must have been long; you must miss your family & friends.

Rebecca & Katie ,Year 6 St Johns School

@ 2954 days ago


We have herd about your trip and would like to ask you a few questions…

What were the children like at Udayan?
What did you eat there?
What was your journey like?

We can’t wait to hear from you
From Rebecca & Katie

Emily,Victoria and Joel Year 6 st johns

@ 2954 days ago


Sorry we forgot to put that we were from St Johns! But dont tell Mrs Ralph because she’ll kill us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emily Joel Victoria

Adam Reed Year 6

@ 2954 days ago

Hi everyone my names Adam I heard about you bringing loads of books to
udyan to help the children learn how to read whats the wheather like in udyan I hope you write back

From Adam Reed Year 6