14 April 2016
PROMO Service trip to Rajasthan
Seventeen Lower Sixth students departed for India on 15 March, arriving in Delhi and moving straight on to Agra. The trip involved a variety of different modes of transport starting with horses and traps to reach the Taj Mahal at sunrise the next morning. The group then travelled on to Jaipur by coach, stopping at the ancient abandoned city of Fatepur Sikri on the way and experiencing their first bit of bargaining for stone carvings.
In Jaipur we visited the Amber Fort, reaching the palace courtyard by elephant. We were shown around the fantastic palace and then returned to ground level using the more down-to-earth transport of a fleet of jeeps. Later in the day we visited the City Palace in Jaipur.
The next day we travelled on to Jodhpur to the SKSN school at Manaklao, a few kilometres to the north. Our programme of English teaching was interrupted this year by the Holi Festival when we all took part in the festival of colours throwing coloured powders and water-blasting dyed water – with no holds barred and nowhere safe to hide! Our students played a successful cricket match with the SKSN pupils and were introduced to the energetic Indian game of Kabadee.
We were delighted to see what a difference our financial contributions last year had made to the school with the whole school – bedrooms, classrooms and the exterior – all having received a welcome coat of paint. It was a transformation. SKSN was delighted with our presentation of a large coloured photo of the school, taken in 2015, and immediately had it framed and put it on show in a very prominent position at the entrance. On the last night at SKSN our pupils performed several successful items in the Cultural Show, in the setting of a new outdoor stage beautifully decorated and lit with fixtures and fittings paid for from our donations in 2015.
After a week at SKSN, including a sightseeing day in nearby Jodhpur, an evening expedition to the desert edge for camel rides and a tractor ride to look round the local village, the trip ended with a sleeper train and two nights in Delhi. Our sightseeing included the Indira Ghandi museum situated in her family home, a quick look at the Red Fort and the beautiful garden setting of the site of Mahatma Ghandi’s funeral. We returned to London after some final shopping trips and a wonderful buffet evening meal in a Delhi outdoor restaurant.