My Personal Reflection by Hinako Takita a Y10 student
Our India trip to Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi that, apparently, was supposed to be a full week and a day was gone in what seemed to be a second; however, this tiny moment of India was one of the most evocative memories that I have in all of my 14 years. The days were full of ambiguous surprises and colourful lessons, full of creativity and unique Indian cultures; but the brightest and sharpest memory that is still impressed upon my mind is the image of the slum children of India with the happiest smiles I had ever seen.
I am sure many people would think that the children living in the slums would be unhappy, exhausted, uneducated, poor, starved, and abused with so little care from their parents and so many life risks in their daily lives. This was reality for many children there, and what they had to go through each day was probably worse than they had shown to us. However, what you were not normally able to see on television or in photos were their deep ebony eyes full of hope, and their twinkling laughter that could be heard from miles away.
Yes, the children were poor: wearing the same ragged clothes every day, bare-footed, and living in the worst sanitary conditions. However, they were all so grateful for what they had already, starting their day off with prayers of thank, feeling thankful for each and every meal they had, and enjoying the simple pleasures of living every day.
I was amazed at their pureness and sincerity, and I am sure I will always remember those warm hearty smiles as a large part of my experience in India. It was a great pleasure for me to be able to help the children there even by a tiny bit, and deliver them some of our humor and happiness.
My Personal Reflection by Yip Hei Loi, a year 9 student
To me, I thought India was all about mistakenly eating all the spicy food and burning my tongue off when I first received the letter to the India trip. At first I didn’t want to go, but like some of my friends, I couldn’t avoid the inevitable. Realizing that there’s no turning back, I decided to risk my tongue and go on the trip.
Then I joined a CIP with I-India. We went to Jaipur in India on Sunday 29th March. We stayed there for 6 days to interact with the street children. During the trip we visited more than 5 different places. We did some activities with the children, for example we told stories, did some arts & crafts and sharing information about the cultures of our own countries.
The people we met there are poor. They lived in rotting slums and wear worn-out clothes. I’ve seen this in other countries, so it didn’t surprise me so much but to be actually interacting with the street children was a different thing. It brought me a sad feeling! However, I didn’t find any sad expressions on the children’s faces! They are very happy because they live a simple life. I learnt that it doesn’t take much to be happy.
I remember that during the event of Water Bus, the children were very excited and they played very happily. I taught a boy how to make a clay model and he was eager to learn with me. I enjoyed making art and crafts with him together.
Looking at the children made me feel I am lucky and grateful. We have so much more capabilities that they simply don’t have. I grew up in Hong Kong then moved to Singapore, which are both highly developed cities. My family offers me a trouble-less life. I receive good education. I am even able to ask for an iPhone 6 for my birthday.
Besides, I wish I could meet the boy again to do some more crafts like origami with him.
I think I can visit the children anytime so long I have a visa and air ticket (and a big box of first aid stuff) but for them it is not easy to come to visit me. I must be really thankful!
It was a meaningful activity. I saw a lot of things that I wouldn’t normally see. I thought about some questions that I normally wouldn’t think about. Luckily Mr. Lim called my parents then my parents pushed me to join this trip. Also, if it wasn’t for the teachers and this school to arrange this trip, I wouldn’t have had so much fun memories!
My Personal Reflection by Sean Canning, a Y10 student
The trip to Jaipur was a life changing experience, seeing how people lived in India was very moving. Whilst in India we did an assortment of activities to help the community; we visited a slum village school it was very moving to see how much they did with so little; we also visited ladil girls’ home which was also very moving and the last thing we did was visit Jag children’s village which made me sick this was very moving because it showed me how lucky I am to live in a country which has good medical attention. I am very thankful to Mr. Lim for providing this experience and strongly recommend the next trip to India for any Senior student.