Friday, 31 October 2014

Friday 31st October - Today, sadly, was our last day to spend with the beautiful people of Tigri. Before heading to Tigri, our first port of call was the Asha HQ where we had a debrief and discussed and fed back about our experiences and observations. We were also encouraged to give any further suggestions on how Asha can improve the Asha centre in Tigri and the overall experience for visitors. We then made our way to Tigri where we were treated to a cooked lunch by the Asha team which was a welcome treat after a week of sandwiches pasted with varying toppings ranging from Peanut butter, fish paste, sandwich spread, tuna mayo, Marmite or Nutella!

After our generous and tasty lunch the room was prepared for the celebration. A few ladies from our team had bought sari's and were assisted by the Asha team members to put them on. Whilst the fittings were going on the children and students were ushered in. Once everyone had been seated the speeches began. We listened as three students described their personal journeys with Asha and how much they have benefitted so far and been supported by Asha. Likewise, Amanda, Chris, and Heather shared with everyone their experiences. Once the speeches were said it was time for some music in the form of singing and dancing! The next hour proceeded with us alternating between a song by our team and a dance by the children. By the end of it we were all dancing with the children who taught us some 'moves' Bollywood style which some managed better than others. The default was the 'changing the light bulbs' move! The music varied between slower drumbeats to faster drumbeats which by the end of it left us all laughing and exhausted. Not so for the children! As the celebration came to an end we had to say goodbye to the children and students as it was time for them to go home. Each one said goodbye in their own way and it was a bittersweet event for all concerned. Our team then had the opportunity to pray for the Asha team and bless them with gifts. They have looked after us so well since day 1 and have worked very hard to make us feel welcomed and comfortable. They are a blessing and key component in Tigri and we hope that God will continue to bless their work as they persevere in such a challenging environment.

It was then time to make our way back to the YWCA. Our timing couldn't have been worse as we hit peak traffic on a Friday evening. It was bonkers! Between the jamming traffic and the random herds of cows walking along the road we finally got back safely to our hostel. Our driver was cool as a cucumber under the pressure and has been such a brilliant driver this whole time!

Tomorrow we spend our day sightseeing in the old part of Delhi with some of the students from Tigri. It is difficult to believe that a week has flown by and that our time in India will come to an end. It has been a whirlwind tour but at the same time a lot has been achieved and many memories made. The people of India and especially Tigri have left an impression on me which I will never forget. They have so little but yet so much and love so wholeheartedly, even strangers from a far country who could never begin to try and identify with their suffering. I hope that our visit has brought them joy and made them realise that they are not forgotten, but are more loved and more precious to our Heavenly Father than they could ever imagine. They may be considered untouchable by some ranks of society but God has reached in to the depth and darkness of their suffering and pain to give them hope through the work and love of Asha so that in turn they can be empowered to change their communities and work towards a brighter and successful future for their families and generations to come. Roanna Grims

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