Saturday, August 9, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
This will be my last journal entry as team 68 winds to a close in 3 days. Today, the teachers and I took the children of Grace School on an excursion to Mamallapurum. This was an exceptional day. We left the school at 9:30 in two vans loaded with giddy children. Many of the parents were on hand to see us off. Before we were a few blocks from the school, the children began singing our top 40 hits which of course includes “Five Little Monkeys” and “The Wheels on the Bus”. Along the way we stopped at the Madras Crocodile Park and the Tiger Cave which dates to the 7th century. After a lunch on the vans, we arrived in Mamallapurum and climbed over and through the magnificent carvings. Some of the kids were familiar with the carvings which includes Arjuna’s Penence, the world’s largest known bas relief sculpture, complete with life size elephants. After our climb which included an encounter with some real monkeys, we headed to the beach. The waves on the shore of the Bay of Bengal were very strong and I had my hands full keeping the children from venturing out too far. They were dressed in their plaid uniforms and all were soaked when we retreated to the beach for ice cream then on to the vans. We were tired and wet on the trip home but not too tired to watch a DVD of Tamil music videos. The kids knew most of the words and danced in the aisle along with their favorite singers. The van dropped me off at the guesthouse around eight and I soon fell into bed exhausted and happy. I am so grateful to Stephen and the teachers of Grace school for making this day possible and to the students for their enthusiasm, joy, and open hearts for a day I’ll always remember with love.
“There’s far too much to take in here,
more to see than can ever be seen,
but the sun rolling high, on a sapphire sky,
keeps great and small on the endless ride,
In the Circle of Life” from The Lion King