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