3 Days at Udayan!!!!

22 February 2011

Our last three days have been spent at Udayan and we have had the most amazing time! We have played football, cricket, hopscotch and hand games with the children. They have taught us some Bengali and Hindi while we have concentrated on reaffirming Beverley’s spoken English programme by talking to the children and assisting in their different classes.

We were blown away by how self sufficient Udayan actually is. They grow their own vegetables, bananas, mangoes, papayas and keep farm animals. The rest of the food that they provide for the children is sourced locally. We are all aware of how much food is produced by the fantastic team in the kitchen who looked after us for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were amazed by how much all the children, even in the younger ones, eat and the fact that they ate more than our human hoover, Joe!

The staff were extremely welcoming and were very happy to explain all aspects of Udayan to us, from aspects of their day to day life, to their own business schedules at Udayan. We must extend our thanks to the staff for making us feel at home and to the children for truly making us feel part of their family. Despite coming from backgrounds surrounded by such poverty they are friendly, happy and grateful for all that is provided to them which is emphasised by how much they treasure the little they do have.

On our first day there the boys also participated in a football match of epic proportions; including many goals (no one actually knows the final score) and much bonding between the two groups. The girls also spent time with the girls at Udayan being taught phrases of Bengali which the girls persisted in testing us on for the duration of our stay.

Yesterday evening began with a variety of performances from us and the children of Udayan with Jamie performing a solo, Millie and Dominic performing a duet, Sabina and Shaunagh doing a Irish dance, the group performing the ‘Pizza Hut Song’ with Joe concluding the show with his own solo. The children of Udayan stunned us all with their fantastic performances which ranged from gymnastics, traditional Indian dance to Beverley and the younger years reciting the English book ‘The Blue Balloon’ accompanied with actions. After the musical celebrations we headed to the medical block for our surprise dinner where a study room had been transformed, beautifully decorated with lights, pictures and flowers by Swapan and helpers and the meal was provided courtesy of the generous Father James and his wife Lallita.

Today was our last day with the children which we spent observing and participating in lessons and was filled with emotional goodbyes. Our time at Udayan has been life changing and unforgettable and we will cherish the children’s faces, love and caring nature for many years to come. We all hope to return again in the near future to continue the service that we all found so rewarding. From all the children at Udayan we would like to thank everyone who has donated money to Udayan, no matter how small, each penny you give can change their lives for the better just as meeting them has changed ours.

Comments:

Ann Palmer

@ 2463 days ago

So pleased to hear about the last three days and how much you have enjoyed the experience.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you home and hearing all about your wonderful journey.

Have a safe trip home and we will see you bright and early on Thursday morning, missed you loads,

Love Mum & Dad xxx

christine bernie

@ 2462 days ago

it was lovely to see and hear about the last three days, enjoy your trip home. missed you so much but very happy that the journey went well and that joe still has a good appetite lots of love xxxxxxx

Caroline White

@ 2462 days ago

Hi Sabina,

So delighted to hear you are having the time of your life. Truly life changing!

We can’t wait to catch up to hear all your exciting news.

Safe journey home!

Lots of love

Uncle Mark, Auntie Caroline and Conall xxxxxxxx

Ewa Squire

@ 2462 days ago

Dear All

Your time at Udayan sounds fascinating and very interesting. Hopefully memories forged on both sides. What a wonderful trip it has been and how well organised and planned! Wishing you a safe journey home and see you bleary eyed at the airport!!

Dominic – looking forward to seeing you on Thursday and hearing all your stories- loving the beard! lol xx

Ewa

Tricia

@ 2462 days ago

Hi All : What an emotional and overwhelming trip this must have been in its entirety.. can’t wait to see you on Thursday morning Millie. Everyone has really appreciated the wonderful website describing so many of your encounters. Hope you have a good trip home.
With very much love to all.
Tricia

Jill Dunlop - and all the children and staff at St John's School

@ 2462 days ago

So good to hear from you all again, really missed your daily blogs -we all feel we have shared your wonderful jounrey with you. Your photos and diary show what an amazing place Udayan is, the children’s faces are full of joy and inspiration. We wish you all a safe jounrey home and look forward to all of you visiting us at St John’s school, we have so many questions for you all and really hope that Joe and Dominic will bring their guitar and sitar. Thank you Caroline for all your hard work organising this once in a life time pilgrimage and Chris for your brillant IT skills allowing us to experience this all with you, also thank you Kathryn and Beverley.

Flossie can’t wait to see you on Thursday… love you loadsxxx

Helen Swaby

@ 2462 days ago

Hi Millie – looks like you have had the most incredible time – we can’t wait to see you and hear all about it.
Very much love from us all.
Auntie Helen and Uncle Roy XXX

Emma Ridley

@ 2462 days ago

Hi all,

Reading through your experiences at Udayan have brought back so many cherished memories for me of our time there two years ago. I’m sure you’ll all agree that your time in India and especially the time spent with the children is something you’ll never forget!! I hope you have a safe journey home and have enjoyed every second out there…I’m sure you all have countless stories to share! Thanks also for the great diary.

Emma