17 February 2019


A 5 am start… again! We started the day with another early start to attend mass at the Motherhouse, with a life-size sculpture of Mother Theresa joining us this time! The congregation consisted of many other young service organisations, a group of 98 students from Ireland working with children in the slums. The Gospel from mass reminded us all of the talents and gifts we have been granted, urging us to fully utilise these. Udayan and our time in India has been the perfect opportunity to fulfil this potential. On return to the hotel, an impromptu dance routine was launched, entertaining both us and all the hotel staff. Watch out for videos on Indian facebook of English tourists attempting to become Bollywood stars.

After a reluctant goodbye to WiFi and hotel luxuries, we were soon ecstatic to see the Udayan minibus to take us back to ‘home’ as Elizabeth now unconsciously refers to Udayan. Upon arrival, it was a pleasure to see some of the parents and families of the children on their visit from the Leprosy colonies almost a 300km train ride away overnight. After settling back in it was an afternoon of energy and activities inspired by the constant uplifting spirit of the children here. A round of cricket with the boys developed into Maddie and Rowan teaching the rules of rounders which was also thoroughly enjoyed. Back at the girls block Desi hits led the future professional dancers to try and teach us the precise and captivating routines. In return, some English tunes such as Candy, The Cha Cha Slide, YMCA, Cotton Eye Joe fuelled a dance-off leaving us all in Zumba class induced sweats.

Evening tiffin included wheat and sugar treats topped off with a round of chai which we had greatly missed. The girls were also impressed with our henna designs from the market so a session for more is much awaited. Realising it was this time last week that we arrived to the dancing, smiling and caring family of Udayan it feels like we have effortlessly slipped straight back into the routine of life here and can’t wait to see what the rest of the school days will bring with lessons taught by us set up for tomorrow.

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As much as we appreciated the opportunity to eat some western food in the city. We missed the home-grown freshness of Udayan’s cooking.