Thursday, October 8, 2009

School Trip

I don't know about you but in my day our school holidays were limited to places like Naracoorte, Millicent, Port MacDonnell and once in High School there was even a trip to Canberra! The reasons for rambling on about my childhood is that we have just said farewell to 5 school children who had come to visit the orphanage. Now these kids didn’t come from the local high school to visit but rather Scotch Oakburn College in Tasmania, Australia. The 16 year old girls and their teacher were here as part of a conference tour designed to open their eyes about real world problems. This they saw first-hand whilst here as we had over 530mm of rain in 2 days which caused the school to flood and be cancelled.

They spent four days here and helped out with craft, school lessons and even assisted in a youth group run by yours truly. Some of the differences I noticed between the two groups is that the Aussies were much “bigger” (height and breadth), their greater self-confidence and the results of a better education – a greater worldview and analytical reasoning. Despite the rain they had a lot of fun, dancing, singing and playing with “our” kids and it was a tearful goodbye last night when they left.

All of the visitors were deeply impacted by their visit here and stated that they were amazed at how content and happy the children were even with the smallest of things given. They all saw with their own eyes the divide between what they have at their exclusive school and the school here which, by Indian standards, is a good school. Incessant power cuts, monsoonal rain and lack of resources helped the girls understand some of the difficulties faced by people here and I’m sure it will make a lasting impression on them and their peers.

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