Today has been a sunny day in New Delhi. After our usual breakfast and prayers at the YWCA we set off at 8.30am for the slum. The team divided into two for our morning activites - painting some remaining unpainted rooms in the clinic and a game of cricket with the boys at Seelampur on a pitch they had not played on before.
The cricket match was a great success (as was the painting!). Alan and Chris B joined me in participating in the game whilst other team members gave inspirational encouragement from the sidelines. It was a ten overs per side game - more than enough in the Delhi heat for us - and nearly all the players got a chance to bat or bowl. We were joined by one or two motorbikes and passing cows on the pitch - not sights usually seen on a cricket pitch in England! - and fielding the ball was definitely quite hazardous on a somewhat bumpy outfield. The spirit of the game was tremendous and at the finish we had a little team talk congratulating all the players and awarding an Indian cricket team official shirt to the player of the match who had caught our eye with some fine wristy strokes and attacking footwork.
Back to the slum clinic for lunch on the roof as usual - the painting team had made short order of the remaining rooms needing painting, so after lunch we could all get involved in painting the central pillars and next storey of the building. With one painting day to go the building is looking very different to its appearance when we arrived and tomorrow should see us complete the upper storey too.
Because of the painting and cricket game today there were no prayer walks / visits in the slum but we plan to do another one or two tomorrow before the inauguration of the building on Saturday - for which we are beginning to practice our team dance - watch this space!
Tonight we are all relaxing and 'doing our own thing' having been out togther as a team every other evening. Last night we had a team meal with Kiran and Freddie which was a lovely time hearing more detail about the story and history of Asha as well as more about the current opportunities and challenges they face.
Thank you for all your prayers for us - we are all in good heart and spirit and health. Tired but energised by all we are seeing and experiencing and already begining to realise we will miss the extraordinary affection, curiosity, smiles and openess of the children (and many of the adults) we are mingling with in the slum each day.
Signing off now for a post cricket match glass of something cold....
With love from all the team, Jez