A royal welcome is the only way to describe the way in which we were greeted today at Jasola for our last day in India. Several children ran towards us with garlands of marigolds, just before we were escorted down a red carpet with flower petals being thrown at our feet. We were then led onto the main stage where we were presented with a bouquet of beautiful flowers, a rosette and a plaque, to thank us for their honoured guests at their sports meet. We were then introduced individually by Sarah, the principal of Jasola and had the opportunity to address the crowd and speak about our time spent in India. The sports meet provided the four Good Samaritan schools the opportunity to come together to showcase their sporting talents, an event very similar to our sports day. Our favourite event of the morning was the 50m hurdles, which turned into the 50m sprint and duck due to the hurdles being too tall for the grade 1 and 2 children to jump over. Another way to compare today’s events would be to say that it was similar to a mini Olympics with even an opening and closing ceremony. There were balloons, prayers, speeches, the releasing of doves, trophies for the winners and the raising of the Indian flag. Not to forget a special dance prepared by Dakshinpuri and a song sung by children from the upper school. Overall the day was one that we will never forget and will cherish for a very long time.
After an emotional goodbye we visited Qutub Minar, a tower over 76 metres tall built in the 1100s. We also visited a local saloon where we got some traditional mehindi so that we could share some Indian culture with the children on our return.
Our experience in India has been eye-opening and has allowed us to reflect on our own educational practice. We have learnt a vast amount about the ways in which the Indian school system works and were able to see first-hand how much the children value their education. Their traditions, values and beliefs shone through in every aspect of their lives that they shared with us and we will forever remember our time spent here in India.