Thank you participants, please share your experiences and pics in the forum
It was a good event. I would like to take part in such events again and again.. The kids very really super...
Lakshmi : Ur backstroke in the sea(the drowning episode) is unforgettable.. :)
Thanks to the whole team ..
lemme first thanks all the volunteers who helped a lot, to bring smiles in those kids face.
Volunteers number was lil less but everyone was really helpful.
Thanks to Sudharsan for providing the food.
Thanks to Sumita,Shibu and Sanjay for sponsoring for the kids Transportation.
Thanks to Geetha for providing Frooti and Biscuits.
This is how we started, we started from Koyambedu by 6.45am reached Guindy by 7 waiting for the kids.
Van came with a group of enthusiastic kids by 7.30 we all started and reached Tidel Park in another 5 mins. After all volunteers came, we proceed to Tiger cave. We reached Tiger Caves by 8.30, we had delicious break fast(menu pongal,vadai,sambar and chatney). Till 10.15 we were playing in hot sun then moved towards Mahaballipurum reached PanchaPandavar Rathas at 11. Kids were really active went to the top as fast as they can and came down to a shadow. We were looking for a place to have our food, we had our lunch(menu white rice, sambar,potato varuval and curd) by 1 and we started from Mahaballipurum by 2.10 and started moving towards Croc park. Normally Shanmuga Raja used to be behind everyone , but this time i really donno, how he went before all and waiting for us in croc park. We saw very huge croc's to very small croc's there, and even we had a chance to see how do they feed them. We almost spent an hour there and started to a private beach by 3.30. We had a blasting evening at the shore, built castle, burying(lakshmi,laveena and giya in mud). The ultimate part of yesterday's enjoyment is, the water was just above the knee but even in that one of trekker lakshmi drowned, and asking for help ;). And thanks to Sunita for the game called "Queen of Sheeba". After playing in the shore we went and cleaned ourself in tap water had a good dance for some good tunes. Kids started from the place by 6.30 and we started ten mins later had a tea in the way and came home. Thanks to Raja who took the responsibility to hand over the vessels.
Once again i thank all the volunteers for making this trek a memorable one for the kids as well as to the co-trekkers.
Thank you all.:)
In reply to this post by aravindpratap
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In reply to this post by rakeshchandrasekar
Thank you guyz for making the event a memorable one. I really enjoyed the smile of each children. Each one are special and unique in their activities. Especially there was a particular child in the home. I got inspired with the way she moved with everyone and the care she took on the other children. She is mature than us at the age of 10. Where ever I go, she will come and hold my hands and I also felt her love. My eyes almost wet when she left me after the trek. Love you my child.
I thank CTC for making this happened. CTC has a long way to go.
it was such a wonderful time with all the volunteers and the kids!!!
starting from the morning till we got back each moment was memorable!!
we had loads of fun with those super energetic kids!!
i especially had a wonderful experience... in spite of falling in water once i was keen on visiting my grand father!! <<thatha kadal la aappam sudra scene>> (special thanx to rakesh, naresh and sanjay!! and alsom for sai!!) that was the most useful day and i hope i made the kids and others happy in some way or the others.. :))) it was such a wonderful time with the photographers (arvind, suneel, thangam,... sorry if i had missed any one!!)
wish to take up more treks... :)
never stop travelling even when the world is about to end!!
Some of the photos taken in my cam are here.
- Shibu Alexis
I have been trying to get the post trek experience in words, but couldn't find time for that.. But its 'Better Late than never'... and here we go..
The Day started in a rather unusual manner for me, with a dilemma on whether to go by bike or share a drive.. at last, I ended up in 2nd choice and found my buddy for the day in Suman. She was kind enough to wait for me even though I was late due to personal reasons( known to Rakesh). We were left behind and Suman was trying to catch up. We reached our first destination-TigerCaves. At first sight, I though some kids have come for an excursion from school.. Only after looking Rakesh in between the kids that I realised that they are the kids - Sorry, the Guest of the Day.
We spent dome Quality time there and got acquainted with kids and tried to remember their names.. While we were about to start, 3 kids came and hold my hands and said " Anna, naan unga kooda Carle varen.."(Bro, we'll come with u in car).. soon some more kids joined.. I zeroed in on 1st 3 kids(Meena, Kriba and Priya) and told others that chance will be given to everyone..
We started to Mahabalipuram, reached and unwinded, then reached the Five Rathas Temple.. A lot of Locals and Foreing Nationals were there.. Some found the kids to be cute and posed for photographs, asked for their names and started playing around.But also found some tourists trying to ignore the kids and even if the kids approached, they jus held back asking kids not to touch them(that was really painful when kids getting treated like that). But the spirits never dampened, the kids started exploring the Sculptures and few kids started bouncing around in the lawn. Few acrobatic stunts were also performed.
Kids were provided with a briefing about the Five Rathas by Lakshmi(her own version) and we thank her for that. Kids were getting slowly dehydrated and started enquiring, whats next ... and where are we gonna go, when we'll go to beach. Rakesh had other plans.
As soon as we came out of the Five Rathas, kids started asking for water and we bought few bottles of water, But Rakesh struck a bargain with a Tender Coconut vendor and provided everyone with Tender coconut. With rejuvenated energy we walked towards our Next stop. We reached the other Temple on HillTop(Near light House), climbed uphill and found a panoramic view of Mahabs.. WWWWWOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW.. No words to express the joy of kids when they saw the Ocean from there..
.After spending some time there, we climbed down, and settled in the nearby ground for the food to arrive... Now, everyone filled their tummy with an yummy Menu - Rice, Delicious Sambar, Butter Milk, Chips, and Potato Poriyal... Forgot to mention, Another trekker joined us with her family at the Camp..Her Kids(GIa, Pallak and Sid) started playing with kids around as soon as they hit the place.. Now even Laveena joined the party after filling her tummy with full energy and josh..
Once everyone were charged, we started towards Crocodile bank. Got held up near the Mahabs Bus Stand(due to a traffic Jam), I ventured out of the car to purchase an item expecting the group to come in the same way, but they had other plans and took a different route and I had to run back to catch my car( Sorry and Thanks to Suman and other trekkers who waited for me). Finally we hit the road and reached Croc Bank. Kids were energetic to see crocodiles and some were even inquiring whether the baby crocs will be available to touch and play.. We didn't know and jus ventured into the park. We started calculating the size of Crocs, how they live and also saw some turtles and Snakes/Pythons.. Suddenly I felt I was left behind and by the time I catched up, found that the largest croc was fed with Beef... and everyone were lucky enough to watch that( Cha... I missed that)..
From there, Rakesh took charge and we moved towards our Final destination for the day - THE BEACH. I still couldn't guess how the kids got their batteries recharged, but as soon as they reached the beach, they started jumping into water like a group of Penguins into the sea.. Rakesh and Thangam took charge and lead the way.. Niladri took care in keeping kids from venturing deep into water.. Naresh was providing a helping hand to him.. Soon Suneel joined. Sunita and Suman started enjoying in water with kids around them..
Then Rakesh built a sand castle, and got it demolished. We took Lakshmi and made her sit in pit and covered with Sand, she acted like gasping for air and getting fainted in the pit. Rakesh was spontaneus and said " Theliya vachu apporam moodunga pa" ha ha.. Covered till neck, and posed for photos, as soon as she came out, Laveena got into the pit, Rakesh was trying to pour water on head and instead poured in front of her face, she got scared as sand got into her mouth. we took her out immediately.. Now the Little Champ GIA got into the pit, posed for photos and also the kids from home got into the pit. Shanumga Raja was trying to escape the Sea Water.. Rakesh and Me carried him and dropped in the sea with help of other trekkers..
We found it to be getting late, started back and washed ourselves.. And when we thought thats the end of the day, Lady Bosses - Suman and Sunita had other plans. We played some hit songs from Car Stereo and danced to the tunes.. only few kids were dancing as it was a Hindi song(maybe due to that). When I changed the song to 'Otha Sollala' from Aadukalam, all kids joined and started dancing.. Soon Rakesh and Thangam joined the Dance party(Thangam handed over the Cam to me to capture the video- Sir, vide upload pannunga). Finally we played Sheila ki Jawani and Adada Mazhaida-Paiyya. As it was getting late, the APPA of Home of Hope kids wore a worried face.. As we didnt want to make him wait long, we took a grp pic and said BYE to all kids.
And 10 mins after the kids left, we started back, sipped a cup of tea near UTHANDI, and from there, everyone took their own route to their destination.. I took my bike from Suman's place and came back home at 9.15PM.
When I hit the bed, I was like OMG, why the hell in this world did I take so long to join CTC.. but again, the same note from where I started came to my mind ' Better late than never'.
The faces of few kids and the chirpy little Angel - Swathi still lingers in my mind.. Hope to see them again..
Nice writeup Aravind...
Special thanks to you Thanga for the photos which adds color to the writeup..
Everyone wishes for their 1st CTC experience to be unique, particularly when you've been on the mailing lists for a while and go green (no thanks to the pics of lovely foliage around the pools and falls) reading about all the experiences of the participants. As a first-timer and technically although not a 'trek', the CTC-organized social outing to Mahaabs on Feb 20th with kids from Home of Hope, Pakkam, was a truly special and memorable day, and I wouldn't wish to exchange it for any other. Had to break away from the group towards the latter part of the evening due to earlier commitments, and it seems like I missed a lot of fun and 'games' literally, something to look forward to next time. Had left behind some snacks--mentioned it to Sanjeev and Suman--everyone must have been hungry post jumping into the sea and building castles and burying people in the sand!!--hopefully they were consumed satisfactorily by all?!
At the risk of sounding like an acceptance speech (given the Oscar fever around the corner), I would like to thank Maruthi Raj for pencilling me in at the last minute on the eve of the event and welcoming me into the CTC fold on the morning of the trek with tips and info. Special thanks to Rakesh for organizing and coordinating the day so well, making it memorable with his enthusiasm, infectious laughter and clowning around, and even sharing my plate of food a few times--that was a unique experience alright (for me, i.e., I hear it is common practice in treks!)! Thanks to Harish and Shibu and the kids for the company in the car along the journey, missed that on my lone return especially when stopped by a cop for speeding at 90 on a 40km speed limit zone!! (How can anyone drive at 40km on ECR Road anyway?? It is grave injustice to those fabulous roads!)
The sharing and caring by all - volunteers and kids - is what has stayed with me since the day. The manner in which everyone participated and cooperated wholeheartedly - was a joy to witness. Lakshmi was a real sport despite all the teasing from the boys and those exchanges provided much entertainment. Suneel's tresses were also a major attraction, not to mention his photography skills - eagerly awaiting those masterpiece shots! Mirinda, Eleneer, and the breakfast and lunch menu were the highlights of the day (not necessarily in that order or combo!) and tasted better than any star hotel's exotic dishes. It was very touching to see Thangam and the other guys serving food to all and sundry and barely partaking themselves. Laveena, Palak, Sid and Gia were fun to interact with and hope to see them on future outings as well, Suman and Sunitha pls bring them along, there are enough 'babysitters' around :)
Tiger caves is a beautiful picnic spot, serene yet exciting enough to explore. Five Rathas was crowded with tourists but it was fun to observe 'our' kids climbing around and posing for pics. Crocodile Park's highlight was obviously the feeding of the largest croc there - Jaws III - truly a sight to behold. The croc was lying there like a statue for a long while until Sanjay remarked that its not as large as its rumored to be. As if it had heard, Jaws III immediately came out of the moss-filled pool, right upto where we were standing and opened its jaws wide. Point noted, sir! Its feeding by a caretaker has been captured by Harish on video for those who missed the scene.
At 5 Rathas, one of the kids, Manju, was enamored with a foreigner carrying a baby on his shoulder and couldn't take her eyes off the cute 'paapa'. Loved how the kids took to volunteers so easily, came looking for us, held our hands, hugged us and felt sad at parting as if we have all known each other for long--it actually did feel that way. They are so trusting, giving, carefree, yet responsible when it comes to looking out for each other. Little Preethi's mischief always brings a smile to my face every time I think of the day. When I pretended to cry that I didn't have a cap, Preethi, Kamali and Manju readily offered theirs off their heads and Manju almost removed her necklace and gave it to me when I admired it. It was a pleasure to see how much Santhosh enjoyed his bike ride on Thangam's bike. Li'l Chantosh with his naughty grin, Tomboy Meena with her hep hairstyle, R. Anandhi (who looks like a boy but is such a shy girl) who seemed to stick to Lakshmi as if she were a stuffed toy...already missing all these kids! There is so much to learn from all the kids and participants that I am hungry for more, can't wait for the next opportunity!!
Thank you CTC and Home of Hope for a beautiful, fun-filled day filled with happy memories :0)
Forgot to add....speshul thanks to the photographers of the day who captured all the fabulous moments in all their glory, creating everlasting impressions in our minds. Aravind, Thangam, Shibu, Niladri, Sanjeev and Suneel....sorry if I missed out anyone else with a lens. Do share more pics those who haven't as yet!
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