Memories of our trip to India; Girlguiding, Senior Section from Bourne District and friends

In August last year, 12 members of Girlguiding set of for a personally emotional roller coaster of a trip, for 3 weeks, to India. Nothing had prepared us for the smells, the liveliness and the vibrancy of a country that none of us had visited before, and would be glad to return to. India is where we made new friends who will be with us forever, cemented existing friendships and fulfilled challenges that we had set for ourselves.

This trip was to celebrate the 100th birthday for the Senior Section, within the Girl Guides, that caters for members from the age of 14 until 26. It also coinciding with the 50th birthday of Sangam, India which is one of the Girl guiding’s world centres situated throughout the world.

For the first week we had the luxury of travelling around the north of India, as one member of the trip stated at the beginning of the trip, it was like getting out of the airport and the drying heat hit you, and “It felt like being on Mars”, however through air-conditioning in hotels and on coaches we survived this very different type of heat.

We were able to visit iconic monuments to love (The Taj Mahal) and forts that were built for defence and battle, as well as taking a trip on the “Little Train” and having lunch on the top of a mountain. India, we fast worked out, was a country of contradictions, of very rich and very poor, of cleanliness and grime, of culture and survival, but unlike other countries this was just accepted as how it was. We also visited the viceroy’s lodge up in Shimla and temples to Hanuman where the effigy that had been built was over 100ft tall, bright orange, and looked over the city to protect it from bad luck and ill omens. The sacred monkeys around the temple had proved their adaptability which even included using the children’s play park for their own amusement, rather than letting children play.

“We eventually adjusted to the swerving roads and the Indian drivers famously ‘relaxed’ way of driving, and were able to appreciate the stunning views” We also experienced Tok Tok driving at its best, which at one point almost ended up with a cow in the cab of the rickshaw with us.

Each member of the trip seemed to push themselves and challenged themselves throughout the trip. When we got to Sangam, we all took part in leadership programmes and a community action project. I working in a school for Immigrant workers children that was based on a construction site, this was through a charity called Door step School. This programme touched the lives of over 35,000 children and their families. We made teaching tools for the children that we worked with and were accepted with open arms. Other members of our group worked with other charities that had a link to Sangam.

The people that we met could not have been kinder, more accommodating, and seemed to bend over backwards to help us. At times we did start to wonder if we were the attraction rather than the things that we and the other people had gone to see… It felt like we had minor celebrity status and as it was thought to be good luck for a picture to be taken with a blonde person, I would say that we all came out with very different experiences of our trip in India.

I would like to say thank you to all the people who came along to our fundraising events and helping us to go on this once in a life time trip, also those who popped letters through my door and gave us support in many different ways. THANK YOU!!!!

I would also like to invite you to come and hear more about this amazing trip.

 “India Evening” will be on the 24th March 7pm-9pm at St. Wilfred’s Church, Broad Road.

 There will be some badges for sale at £1, activities and a talk about our trip.

So come along and enjoy a Girl Guiding Evening of Fun.

(contributions will be welcomely received towards the equipment and hall hire for the evening.)