Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Week 1

Sunday 18 January
Today I spent the morning exploring Singapore on a ‘City Orientation Tour’ before boarding my flight to India. The tour took us to Little India, Chinatown, and the Colonial District – even watched a Singaporean band filming a music video down by the waterfront. The final stop of the tour was at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the National Orchid Garden – the orchids in this garden were amazing I have never seen such a range of gorgeous orchids together in one place! The tour also took us to the ‘Qualitas Jewellery Factory’ – I saw an amazing Dragonfly Pendant for you Misty! It was set in White gold with hundreds of minute diamonds on the body and wings with rubies for eyes, the asking price was $19,206 Singapore Dollars, hence it stayed in the display cabinet for others to marvel at it! Spent the rest of day relaxing before leaving for the airport to catch my evening flight to Comibatore. Before arriving in India I was quickly reminded as I boarded my plane of three distinct things I remember about India from my last trip : no personal space, prying eyes, and a distinct body odour! After eventually finding my bag, the second to last bag to emerge after millions of HUGE suitcases went before it! And pass through Customs and finding Prakesh, Wendy and Ian’s Driver we made the long and winding drive up into the Niligris – I’d forgotten all about the hairpin bends and how high up Ooty was! Finally arrived at Wendy and Ian’s about 2.30am Monday morning.

Monday 19 January
After sleeping in till about 9.30-10am I had a relaxing day unpacking, playing games and chilling out with Lauren, Ashlee and Andrew. Then in the evening Alastair and Ros Reid, the Principal of Hebron School and his wife came for dinner. Tomorrow Wendy and I have a girls day out at Hebron with some of the ladies from Hebron – doing Card Making and Scrapbooking – for me it’s more a time to get to know a few people.

Friday 22 January & Saturday 23 January
Today was the first day of Orientation for the IG’s (International Guests and Senior Volunteers) - I’m kinda in the middle of the two! Today was all about meeting each other and finding out about Hebron and explore the Lushington grounds – this is the main grounds for the school. It houses the school classrooms (Preschool – Year 13(A Levels) and the dorms for the boys. Then on Saturday we spent the day at Selbourne – where the girls dorms are – about 10-15 minute walk away from school. We were then taken on a short tiki tour of Ooty (Ootacumund).

Later on in the afternoon Wendy took we on a brief whirlwind trip of the market – it’s such an amazing place, it’s one of my favourite places in Ooty! The senses almost go into overdrive to accommodate all the wonderful and not so wonderful smells that you are faced with as you walk through the market – first past the beef, then the chickens, some already dead, plucked and ready for your choosing or those not yet dead and still with feathers, with axe at hand waiting for the deed to be done! In the evening Wendy and I went to Hebron to watch the movie “Bride and Prejudice” – the staffroom was packed and lots of laughs had!

Sunday 25 January

Went to church at Union Church then had lunch at home, with Chris and Karyn Ellwood and family (Hebron staff from Auckland) joining us for a Kiwi BBQ – it was a gorgeous day for it! The skies here are so blue and clear – the colour here is quite different to that in NZ! Then in the late afternoon we went to Mipzah Orphanage for supper and to spend time playing games for with the children. Afterwards Wendy, Ian and I along with some others were taken out to dinner by Dennis Fountain and his sons who were visiting Ooty briefly. It was a lovely evening out!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My 1st Blog Entry

Hey there I'm sending out my blog ready to set off on my Three month stint to India - last of the jabs done, visa in passport complete and teeth all checked!

Just included this shot of the New Zealand Christmas Tree - the Pohutakawa to remind of home!