Leaving India …

Guest post

Yesterday morning we all left fieldbase, it was a very emotional moment and we all definitely wanted to stay a lot longer.

We drove to Chamundi Hill and walked 400 steps, a third of the way up. It was beautiful, we could see the whole of Mysore and every single place we’ve all been!

Once at the top, there was the Chamundiswari temple. Women were singing as people were going in to worship, bearing coconuts with flowers to offer as a blessing by smashing them. There were also buffalos roaming around but unfortunately we did not see ANY of the infamous monkeys.  We visited the hustling, bustling Mysore market for the second time, everyone enjoyed the colourful market for the very last time. Our lunches were served on banana leaves (very sustainable!) but it didn’t make the food taste any less spicy! As we drove out of Mysore we waved out of the window to the lovely ICS volunteers we had met in the village, it was so great to see them again.

During dinner, Kaz (an ICS volunteer and group leader who we stayed with at the village) came to see us and we had a nice chat about the murals we painted for the school.

The next morning we woke up to breakfast with tea which didn’t have the usual 6 bags of sugar in it yet we still put 4 sugar cubes into it, we’re too used to it! As we drove off to the train station we listened to some traditional Indian music and were delighted by Manju singing along! We luckily had first class train tickets so we didn’t have to sit on the roof or hang on the doors. On the train people were selling currys and chai, we had some very sweet chai to make up for the sugar we’d missed out on in the morning. We had our last lunch in one of the station restaurants and our last dinner in the hotel we’re currently staying our final night at, Shreya’s residence. We all would definitely like to stay longer!

A few last words from everyone:

“Okay so we are coming to the end of our trip now, and I really don’t want it to end! It has been the most amazing experience; I can’t begin to explain how much I’ve enjoyed it! I’m going to come back to England with absolutely, millions of unforgettable memories, and I’m sure everyone else will too! I really don’t want to leave, but I can’t wait to see my family and friends and tell them all about the trip! I know it sounds cheesy but thank you to EVERYONE that made it possible.”Joanna

“It’s really sad that our trip is coming to an end. I have loved every second of it. Being in India has helped me become more independent. I have so many memories to share. I have loved the whole experience of being in India and I will never forget it. We have all grown in our friendships. Thank you to my family, Giving Nation, Raleigh and the school for making this trip possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH!” Annie

“This will be an experience I will never forget. I wanted to thank the form (9Q) for giving us this amazing opportunity and we are so sad we couldn’t bring all of you with us. I am going to miss it here but looking forward to telling all the amazing stories to everyone. This has been so much fun and I have seen and experienced such amazing things.” Georgina

“Obviously, this has been an unforgettable experience! I have learnt so much about India and the work of Raleigh and I will definitely join one of Raleigh’s expeditions as soon as possible. It was weird to see India because, although I come from India, it was nothing like I expected. I can’t wait to come home but I would love for my whole family to come here so I could stay longer. Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible: my family, especially my mum (who I miss very much), Giving Nation, Raleigh, Ms Nocivelli, Naomi, Shady, Manju, Cecilia, Georgina, Jo, Annie and, most of all, everyone in 9Q. I cannot begin to explain how much this has meant to me.” Jemma

“Firstly I’d like to thank every single one of you who has got us here; I won’t include everyone because there are too many people to thank! It’s very hard to sum up this whole experience in a few lines so I’ll just tell you that I have gained and given many things and I will never, ever forget this!”       Cecilia

Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of the Citizenship Foundation.

14 thoughts on “Leaving India …

  1. Hi girls, hope you all had a good time in India. Jemma I look forward to seeing you and hearing all your news. Be prepared for different weather when you arrive at Heathrow. It is very cold here and we’ve had flakes of snow.
    Lots of love to you Jemma,
    Nanna xxxxxxxx

  2. So lovely to hear how you all feel about leaving India…we have wondered how you felt about all the experiences you must have had. Needless to say Jemma, your comments made me cry, and we have missed you very much too. Can’t wait to see you at Heathrow in 21 hours’ time!!!! Xxxx

  3. Hi girls. Great to hear from you again for the last time in India. It’s good to hear that you have all enjoyed the trip and taken away something positive from it.
    Look forward to seeing you tomorrow at the airport Jemma and hearing all the stories about India

  4. O my gosh, it’s soo good to hear that you’ve all enjoyed the whole experience. The train journey sounds like quite an experience! We can’t wait to see you tomorrow Annie! We’re counting the hours! Have a good flight! Roast dinner tomorrow? Or curry? Xxx beccy.

  5. Hi Georgina – so lovely to see the blog as we haven’t really heard from you since the first day. It does sound like you have all had a wonderful experience. Can’t wait to see you at Heathrow tomorow. Nick is going to miss hockey so he can come and meet you. I have packed some bourbon biscuits!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to see you.

    Mum xxxx

  6. Hi Jo , it’s dad,
    All sounds absolutely fantastic ,so much packed into a week.
    Can’t wait to hear it all.
    I can sum up very quickly our week,
    Work, home, very cold , Mel still watching tv with headphones on ,and of course united keep winning, excitement over !!
    Missed you, see you tomorrow

  7. It was a lovely surprise to get your last blog before you leave.It also got me very emotional,as I read all your experiences and thoughts.i would like to thank all the people who look after you on your trip,especially Mrs Notrovelli. Naomi ,Shady,Adam back in the UK .What an everlasting gift , Giving Nation have given the girls!thank you Raleigh International for their hospitality .Keep up the good work you do.

    Jo counting the hours now!maybe we will have kleftico with a spicy twist!
    See you tomorrow
    Love mum and the rest of the mavromatis

  8. Hi to all the adults and Raleigh volunteers who have looked after our children. We really do appreciate you helping to make their time in India such a special one. Can’t wait to hear all about it.


  9. Hi girls, hope you have a good flight and get some sleep! We are tracking your flight on the Internet! Can’t wait to se. You all tomorrow! Love you Annie xxxxxxxxx Beccy, mark, Martha, Rosie and wilf.

  10. Hey Jo

    You are problem on the plane now so I will show you this when you get back I am so excited to see you and have you back all the blogs are amazing and it seems you have had a great time can’t wait to see you

    Love Mel

    P.s i am not on the headphones THAT much !!!!

  11. Jo, Cecilia, Georgina, Jemma and Annie, I am so proud of you! It has been amazing to read all of your blogs and see all of the fantastic photographs. What a wonderful, wonderful experience of a life time and one that I’m sure has started a real passion for travel and seeing the world. I’m with your parents as your comments and passion for India brought a tear to my eye. You have done 9Q proud and we can not wait to hear all of your stories and see all of the photos and video footage. See you back at form time. Love Miss Koureas xx

  12. Welcome home! I hope that you are as all bubbling with enthusiasm as Ms Nocivelli was today – every time I see her she tells me something else. I know that she is very proud of you all, as well as grateful to Giving Nation and Raleigh for what really sounds like an inspirational and life changing experience. Looking forward to hearing more!

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