Updated: Feb 7
Since we wanted the girls to go shopping, we thought we would wake up late. But the girls had other plans. They wanted to play basketball so they were in front of my room at 6:30 AM. So, we went and played and ran around till 8:00 AM.
Had breakfast and checked out of the facility around 10:30 AM and went to Charminar. Most of them climbed up to the top. One generous donor sent pocket money of 315 rupees to each child so we wanted them to buy bangles and other girly items there. But the crowd, the heat and the unfriendly street vendors put the girls off. They bought a few items but we left the place in disappointment.
I wanted the girls to taste Hyderabadi biryani but sensing the size of our group, my own relative in Hyderabad arranged for us to have lunch at a local CSI Church premises. This was a huge blessing because we could rest, have lunch in peace (yes, Hyderabadi Biryani was sponsored by my relative) and get everything done at a leisurely pace.
Next we went to Birla planetarium & science museum. Few girls found the science museum to be extremely educational while the rest found it to be recreational. Then, we wanted to visit the Bhudhapoornima for the girls to experience the boating but the crowd there at Lumbini park made us realize that we might be late to catch our return train. At the advice of our driver we went straight to the railway station. We had a good amount of time so we walked around the platform and helped the girls to have dinner before we boarded the train.
On the sidenote, we left four little ones back at the Hope House because they were too young (all below 7 years of age). I remember all of them asking me individually if they could also join the trip but we couldn't accommodate because they are too young.
We were told yesterday that all on their own free will, three of our graduates visited the Hope House (one among them is working and the rest are still studying) and cooked pongal with the little ones participation and sent us videos. It was such a heartwarming gesture of our graduates to do something even when they are not being asked, to make a difference. Thank you da girls for your thoughtfulness.
As I write this concluding report, a flood of thoughts comes to mind. First one being the utility of this educational tour. The effort and the costs involved always come across as hurdles but the unsung heroes of the Hope House (our staff & volunteers) work their magic to make these happen year after year. So, what's the utility then? I may not be able define to quantif
y for this group of girls but by referring to the paragraph above, our graduates have learned to give back. Once they were the beneficiaries but today, they are in a position to give back and they just did that. Almost all of our children come with a lot of rough edges but to see the same girls becoming better citizens and better human beings is immeasurable. If this would be the outcome for this current batch of students, then we will repeat for however many times our faithful donors may desire to support.
Year after year, I witness the transformation of little girls to becoming young ladies to become leaders to take ownership of the wellbeing of the younger ones. Yesterday I watched an older girl feeding the younger one and a few of them taking turns to carry the food bag without being asked etc.
Absorbing all this, one 11th grader asked me yesterday "Uncle, how do I become rich?" Sensing the spark, I immediately put on my teacher's hat to tell her that it is commendable that she wants to become rich. Gradually, as we continued on, that spark became a flame to attract other girls to join the conversation to ask questions. Life of Mr. Ramoji Rao in Ramoji film city was a great example in our conversation.
An 8th grader put an inquisitive adult co-passenger in his place who asked if they were from an orphanage by politely replying politely "No, we are from a children's home".
These little things make me a believer that they are learning and these educational tours do contribute to their learning.
If you haven't figured it out, I just want you to know that you're an integral part of this educational tour and I do want to say a big thank you for traveling with us and supporting us. God bless.
See all the 50 photos and one video link at this link