06 Mar School Trip to India
Appleford pupils have been financially supporting and volunteering at a Government village School in Neemrana, India for a number of years. This half term 11 of the pupils along with 4 adults took the opportunity to visit the School, taking with them various items of equipment for the pupils at the school to use.
Mrs Booth, teacher at Appleford, said that they had the most incredible welcome. The Head Girl of the village school greeted the Appleford pupils by placing garlands of flowers around their necks and marking their foreheads with turmeric paste. Despite the language barriers, all pupils found a way to communicate with the local children, playing games and teaching each other songs with great enthusiasm and confidence. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about another culture, help out in the school and experience the lifestyle of others. Games of cricket were played and some of our pupils introduced rugby to the school.
As well as working within the village school, the pupils had opportunity to visit many places.
They had their first introduction to the village via camel cart, visited a potter’s workshop and an ancient “step well”, were invited to view the Fort Palace and watched a demonstration from a Gold and Silversmith who made each of them a silver ring. For lunch each day they were treated to home cooking (and even allowed to help in the kitchen) courtesy of their wonderful hosts Balwant and Poonam Soni. Being invited into a village home, to share food and laughter was a real highlight of the trip.
After a one night safari in Sariska National Park (no tigers spotted but there were lots of tiger prints) the group drove to Delhi for some sightseeing which included Humayun’s Tomb (which inspired the Taj Mahal), mosques and Hindu temples. An amazing foot and motorised rickshaw ride through narrow streets was followed by a visit to a spice market – being nicely overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and smells.
Mrs Booth says that she was so impressed by the willingness of the Appleford pupils to try new experiences, new foods, and be so confident out of their comfort zone. They all returned to school still sporting a fabulous range of henna tattoo over hands and lower arms. A magical experience for everyone.