INDIA Week 7

Chennai Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 10 › view all entries
Dear Family and Friends,
Well, leaving those children was definitely one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but my last day spent with them was soooooo memorable. I purchased three large cakes and fed the whole school with them (about 300-350 people). They loved it!! Of course, I got into several cake smashing-in-the-face fights with some of my favorite students. It was classic Kelly fun for my last day at KPS. The night before was lots of fun as well....the hostel kids and I had an egg throwing contest, played lady-hunter-bear (similar to rock-paper-scissors), and of course had one last round of UNO. It was an eventful last day at the school, and I'm glad that I had fun with the students up until the time I had to depart.
I tried to keep positive all day, but I finally broke down when I was saying my "good-byes" at the school. I was a mess at the train station as well. When I was getting on my overnight train to Chennai, my Indian amma (mother) Mrs. Kingston, EdBrock, and myself were all crying. It was especially difficult to leave EdBrock, an 11-year old boy with whom I had become very attached. There's always one or two special ones, the ones I know I will never forget. Even when I'm 80 years old sitting on a rocking chair on my porch, I'll still remember those students that hold a special place in my heart. God, this really sucks!!
Now that I am in Chennai, I am trying to enjoy myself amidst all the sadness of leaving KPS. I went on a half-day tour of the city yesterday...the government museum, a fort, Marina Beach, a snake park, and a Hindu temple. It was really cool seeing the cobra demonstration at the snake park and the Hindu temple was especially colorful. I can't wait for you all to see these amazing pictures. I am going on a full day tour of the surrounding Chennai area on Saturday before I depart for Delhi early Sunday morning. I am very excited for my tour of Rajastan, especially to see the Taj Mahal. It is going to be amazing!!
I have to tell you all about something that happened to me in Chennai. Thankfully by the time you get this, I will be on my group tour of Rajastan, so my mother won't be able to worry about me. Anyway, I am staying across the street from a big mall in Chennai. It has been very helpful having the internet, Subway sandwiches, Pizza Hut, and the like right across the street from me. Anyhow, I discovered a man following me after I left the grocery store. I had a nice chat with him in the store and left, but then he showed up at Subway. So, I asked him to stop following me and I thought he understood my request, only to find him still outside the restaurant an hour later. I spoke to him again, telling him that "God is watching out for me, so I know that nothing will happen to me!", and again I thought he understood because he was very apologetic.
The next night, I saw him again in front of Pizza Hut and I warned him that the next time I had to speak with him, it was going to involve the police. I left dinner and went straight to the security station to tell them about everything. I was crying and scared and the guy walked by just as I was talking to the asst. manager of security. They immediately dragged him into the office and starting verbally and physically abusing him. It made me cry even more that they were being so physically abusive. They spoke with him in Tamil and took down all of his information. I did not want to press charges, I simply asked them to detain him so that I could get back to my hotel safely that night. It was a really strange and scary situation....the cultural differences made it a very difficult situation to deal with. I later
realized that I reacted out of FEAR instead of LOVE and it made me sad. I know that I did the right thing, but to watch that man get beaten by the police was honestly more scary than him following me. Let's just say, I think we both learned something from this experience.
Anyhow, I'm off to Rajastan tomorrow. I'll try and send out another email before I return home, but I'm not sure what kind of internet access I'll have while I'm on my group tour with Intrepid Travel.
Kelly :-)

P.S. Here's an article about India that was passed onto me from Hana:

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photo by: Marusya