Surrounded by the locals, we arrived into Madurai station at the pleasant time of 5am. Piling on our rucksacks, we got onto the disco bus for another crazy experience on the Indian roads. When we reached our destination, and finally woke up again, we were greeted with a traditional Indian welcome, including an element of fire. The sisters then treated us to a lovely cooked breakfast before we visited the onsite maternity hospital. When we all got to the hospital, we were all very excited to meet the new born baby boy, who was born on the night before we arrived. This tour included meeting the trainee nurses who spend a year and a half at the hospital training before starting work. We then began work planning our lessons for teaching in the local school in the afternoon. After much preparation, we were ready to go, eager to meet the school children. Each group had a class of 30 students and we had an hour to teach them. We arrived, began with a talk with the headteacher, who told us how excited the students were to meet us, and then assigned us with a class. It’s safe to say, we’ve never seen children so excited to learn. After a mini performance from the students, who loved to sing, we started teaching. We taught them English nursery rhymes such as twinkle twinkle little star, English words including animals, numbers and colours and then played games with them. They even managed to learn our a level subjects such as criminology and psychology. Then it was our time to shine! As we danced and sang with them at the front of the class. It’s safe to say our voices were atrocious compared to theirs. The enthusiasm and intelligence of the students was mind blowing! After many pictures and selfies (which they loved), they presented an assembly for us, where they performed, lit a religious candle, and gave us handmade gifts. Kanta took one for the team and gave a speech to the school, thanking them for their hospitality. It was then time for the students to show us how good they were at a complicated (for us) traditional Indian game called Kho Kho, which involved a lot of running. We all gave it a good go, with Miss Garvey as head coach, we learned tactics and we came back much stronger. We hope it gets introduced to the next All Hallows’ sports day as we all loved it, even in the 30 degree heat. The last part of the day was shopping time! We drove to a local department store where girls could buy their Saris and boys could buy their Lunghis. After much debate over which colour suited us, with help from the sisters, we all chose a different bold colour. This was an interesting and complex shopping experience. We then ventured into the supermarket next door, where we stacked up on ‘British’ snacks and sweets. Once again we were amazed by the prices with the most expensive bill being £1.40. We returned to the convent for a traditional meal of chicken nuggets and chips (but this one came with noodles)! After a fun packed day, we all headed to bed to get some rest for the next exciting adventure.
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