Educational Tour - Day one
As we do each year, this year we are out on an educational tour to Coonoor/ Ooty (hill stations in the state of Tamilnadu). This morning, we arrived at Mettupalayam (foot hills) and took a 3.5 hour toy train raid to climb 5550 feet to reach Coonoor. Ride was undoubtedly breathtaking to see towering mountains, tall waterfalls at a distance, deep valleys and fast moving dark tunnels. Every station we were allowed to get down so the girls ran up and down to see everything and learn as much as we they could. We saw a glimpse of Aishwarya talking to the vintage train steam engine driver (perhaps asking him why there is so much steam).
As we were climbing itself we could feel that the temperature was going down. The moment we got down in Coonoor, temperature was perceptibly low. All the girls got their warm clothes out and covered their ears. We reached Brooklands Guest House where our host was waiting for us. In 10 minutes we were served with hot lunch which the girls appreciated very much. Took an hour of break and then out for a refreshments and for trekking.
Vintage train (toy train) ride from Mettupalayam to Coonoor
Trekking was something more than the girls had bargained for. We walked through the lush green tea plantations with calm clear blue skies above over us. We began our walk into the wooded area but the forest rangers advised us not to go any deeper as there are some aggressive bisons and panthers out there. Some girls were disappointed while others relieved to get back. On the whole it was a two hour trekking rise that the girls had really enjoyed with our host explaining about various aspects of tea plantations and wild animals etc.
When we returned, we had dinner ready for us. They kept everything ready for the outdoor bonfire as well. After dinner, we lit the bonfire with songs but didn't want the girls to stay outdoors very long as the temperature was dropping rapidly and also we were warned of wandering wild animals near to the bonfire area.
After a quick outdoor bonfire we moved indoors to do some customary things we do each year. Our 12th graders spoke of their time at the Hope House as this would be their last educational tour. For them, it is difficult to comprehend that they no longer be a part of the Hope House after spending years there but we assure them that they will always be a part of the Hope House no matter where in the world they live at. Then, other girls spoke of their day's experiences. It was so much fulfilling to hear them speak. For some, it was very emotional to speak of of the unfathomable blessing of such educational tours.
We remembered all those people who made this tour possible. Prayed to thank God and to all our supporters. Discussed the plans for tomorrow and departed with a contented heart yet with an optimism to look for an exciting day tomorrow. Tour Photos>>>> Next Day>>>>