Meeting the children of Udayan

9 February 2015

After waking up feeling somewhat refreshed, we were picked up at the hotel to make our way to finally see Udayan. The distance may have only been 30km but it took us just under 2 hours! On this journey there was colour, noise and smells a-plenty! Our driver, although very skilled, was rather scary compared to the tame driving we’re used to at home! At one point he undertook an army truck full of soldiers – armed soldiers! However we arrived unharmed at Udayan, the haven we, as students, had spent 5 years learning and raising funds for. We were finally here.

The peaceful and calm nature of Udayan was a huge contrast to the loud and claustrophobic Kolkata. We wasted no time getting settled and involved. We received a full tour of the school and accommodation, seeing the bunkbeds the school donated in 2007, the library, the computer room (computers donated by Joan of Arc) and the medical bay. It was reassuring to know that the children were not only being provided with above par education but also with thorough medical support – all of those who arrive with leprosy are cured of the illness within 6 months.

After the tour the boys agreed to a football match on the humble sports field in the centre of Udayan. Ultimately we were humiliated by the local talent – Liam blames the heat… and the surface… and his trainers. Meanwhile the girls were introduced to games such as Kabuddie and proved that language in not a barrier as they chatted the afternoon away – Bieber is popular here too! As is India’s own teen heartthrob Rohan, who they all think our Pedro looks like. See the picture below of him being swamped by his ‘fans’.

After freshening up we visited a few of the evening tuition sessions which featured pretty advanced maths, chemistry, biology and an intense grammar session from a team of dedicated tutors. This was followed by a Chicken curry dinner. The children all sit on the floor and are able to eat it all with their fingers, leaving no trace on the plate OR the floor – perhaps they can come and teach the students of St Joan’s their secret!

Tomorrow we’re experiencing a day in the life of an Udayan child which starts at 5.30am with prayer so as it’s 10pm now we’d better be getting to bed. More tomorrow. Night Night!

Comments:

Mrs D'Urso

@ 955 days ago

Hello everyone (and Rohan!)

It looks like you are all having an amazing time. I’m really enjoying reading your diary and seeing the photos. Looking forward to the next instalment.

Take care,
Mrs D’Urso

Susan and Martin Gamble

@ 955 days ago

So wonderful to hear about what you are all doing in Udayan it looks and sounds fantastic. Take care and enjoy yourselves we are thinking of all of you. God bless and love Susan and Martin xxx

Katherine

@ 955 days ago

Hi everyone!

I loved reading this! It brought back so many beautiful memories from when I took part in this fantastic opportunity! Such an inspiring & eye opening time of my life but it can be overwhelming. Especially the transport part! Haha! Take it all in and take lots of pictures! Before you know it, you’ll back to reality but with priceless memories. Enjoy!

Kat x

Alban

@ 954 days ago

Pedro sure loves the kids! Everyone looks like they’re having a great time despite a long journey! Love you Finn!!! Yes! Can’t wait to hear all about it! Luke Rosser wishes he was there! Amen.
LOve frm sizxth form alban

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