Saturday, 30 July 2011

Bye Bye Raksha!

Ok, so the past week has been a bit strange, so instead of listing everything out I'll just go over some bits and bobs.

On Wednesday we had to say goodbye to one of the volunteers at Raksha.  She had to leave early as her granny was ill.  The circumstances aren't too good, but Rachel and I knew exactly how she felt as we had similar circumstances before we came out.  We'll miss Laura, but I'm sure from the taster she had, that she'll be back! 

For those of you that donated to us, we just want to say a big thankyou!  We put in a donation to Raksha to complete their own fundraising for the early intervention centre.  I just want to thank whoever helped us as the room will be kitted out with everything they need and will be a great benefit to the young children.  Rachel has mainly worked in there, (I've only poked my head in a number of times), so she can fill you in on what exactly happens.  They were extremely grateful for this gift,  we like to donate in secret; and so were a bit red faced when all of the teachers, chair people and others kept thanking much for anonymous donation! 

On Thursday Rachel and I paid for the all the children in the school to have a 'special' lunch, that we would help make.  Lets just say that the pilau rice over here is nothing like it is at home, and is 100000% better!!  This was the first of the moments where we began to choke up.  Basically, for 30 pounds we were able to see every single child from the primary unit right up to the older vocational ones smile at their dinner and hear a 'thankyou' in their best memorised way.  Even the ones who we didn't see before beamed up at us as Rachel handed out the salad chutney thing and I handed out the poppadoms... 

Friday morning soon flew in and Rachel and I had both already admitted that we would rather skip the day and just go home.  Goodbyes are never fun. :( 

I got dressed up in my long knee length shirt and white baggy trousers, (maybe called a Japur?) and Rachel got dressed up in her saree, which I have to admit she looks fantastic in. 

Rachel went to the early intervention unit and I went downstairs to take the boys to the physio for some excersise; where I witnessed a miracle!

Grendle came in who I have now realised is actually called Clinton.  He quite happily cycled and had no idea I was leaving.  There was a breakthrough with him recently this week when I didn't come down to get him first thing, but he still went in and worked himself!  That was great but I always knew he would be ok.  

The one that really shocked me was Steniel.  For those of you have read before you'll know that I'm having some problems with him and he is really testing my patience.  Yesterday I went in with him and after about 5 min the physio's (Grace, Mercy and Yassir) called me over and treated me to a nice breakfast of Grace's homemade tapioca and Yassir had gotten some nice banana wheat ball things which went down a treat.  Grace had even gotten Rachel a pair of ear rings!  I was enjoying the food so much that I forgot about Steniel, 20 min into the session I looked round; there he was, sitting in silence, cycling away without any problems!  Hurrah!!  Warren 1- Stenial 0 

Anyway, after this we went and spent the rest of the morning in the vocational unit trying to get as much time with them as we could as it was a half day.  It was strange.  They all knew we were leaving, although some found it harder to comprehend than others.  Most of the guys at the sanding bench just wanted to get their last photos with us, and fought to be the only one in the photo; others like Manu were mature about it and had conversations about it and said our fairwells, (more like a see you later!); then there were the types like Afsal.  He's the 30 year old who is more like 15.  He had been told that we were leaving, but seemed not to want to believe it.  He just sat in silence like a child who wanted to pretend that everything was normal, but still couldn't.  Well Rachel teared up again and I began to choke up a bit as well.  We finished off our goodbyes to the children by waving them off on the bus!  Then we had to say goodbye to the adults..

This was exceptionally hard, so many of them were like one big Indian family for us!!  We worked our way around the school saying goodbye to the teachers, both those that we had met and those that we had just seen.  All the ones who were close to us seemed to have gathered in one room to say goodbye together - that was tough.  

Rachel and Jessie saying goodbye was noticably difficult, with Minel and Arsha and all kitchen ladies it was not pleasant at all.  We spent a good 30 min saying goodbye and hugs and photos and then Rachel and I left the room.  

My final image of the school is one that will last in my mind for a long time.  As Rachel and I left and were walking down the corridor, we looked behind us.  There, following behind us was all the people we had said goodbye to, walking behind us down the corridor waving and shouting their goodbyes...more teachers began to follow us from their class rooms and as Rachel and I left, the teachers were all waving at us from the from gate.....what a send off!

Well that was the big goodbye and definatley a difficult one.  So today we are learning how to cook at our homestay, due to the rain we are not going to Vypin Island.  

To be honest we are just waiting ot go home now.  I could quite happpily hop on a flight tonight.  Instead we are having a kind of going away party with Herman and his brother and sister in law.  Should be fun! With Sunday being a day of rest here as well we have time to relax :) .

This will probably be my last blog post from India so I will look forward to seeing you all later!  


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