What a day today was! Kwan, one of our volunteers, planned a full day of activities for the kids at Dayspring. With the help of his amazing connections, we were able to get a bus for a discounted price and the overall trip was paid for by a very generous friend of Kwan’s!
Let’s start with the bus. The world needs more buses like this. The kids loved it and the Tamil music videos that were played inside.
Our first stop was Meenakshi Amman Temple; a four-hundred-year-old walled Hindu place of worship. Built between 1623 and 1655 CE, the temple houses 14 gopurams (gateway towers). Needless to say, it was very impressive! So impressive in fact that cameras weren’t allowed and had to stay on the bus.
We all made sure our shoes were off, as is custom in any place of worship or even home here in India, and wandered the grounds for a long time, looking at hundreds of stone carvings, and the intricate artwork on the towers.
During a quick washroom break, a local man approached us with a couple of bags filled with biscuit packages for the children. The kids were beyond excited! We were so thankful to the man and he was very impressed by the fact we had taken the children out on a field trip.
After that we made our way to the 17th century palace, Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal. The beautiful palace, though only a fraction of the size it used to be, was a wide, open area that gave the kids plenty of room to run around. They were loving life!
We had a quick stop for a delicious lunch served on banana leaves in a local restaurant. The staff were so helpful, especially with making sure the youngest of our group were able to reach the table to eat.
We went to another temple, the name of which none of us actually know. There were so many monkeys though and, for those interested, a full-on spray down of water, which the kids especially enjoyed!
By the end of the day, we were all exhausted but we got the chance to climb the beautiful Sammanar Mountain and take in the setting sun. The kids loved running up and down, though where they got the energy, we’ll never know.
A quick dinner, similar to lunch, was consumed and the ride home was quiet, with sleepy little kids and adults alike trying to keep their eyes open to enjoy every last minute of the outing. They don’t get the opportunity to explore their own country very often and they really appreciate it when they do.
Written/Photos by: Nikki Owens, Canada
Blossom’s Media and Communications Officer