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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fun Times at FFC

Today marks our last full day at FFC. Our train to Cochin leaves tomorrow at 5:30 am so today we have been saying our goodbyes, packing up our things, handing out photos that we have taken here and generally getting ready to leave tomorrow.

It hasn’t been all work in our two and half week stay here, we have found some time to have fun as well. We thought it would be a good time to reflect on some of the fun times we’ve had during our stay here at FFC.

On campus at FFC we started every day off with the Canteen ladies and their delicious breakfasts (chippathi, dosas and idly). No breakfast was complete without sitting to enjoy a tea afterwards before we got started on our day’s work.

A lot of our time was spent providing extra hands in the special baby room and that often meant we were able to play with these babies, read to them, take them outside to play in the school yard or for a walk in the strollers.We occasionally found ourselves on the playground at recess, playing with the school aged children. Running around with them, pushing them on the swings and relearning what it is like to be a kid. We often found on these little play breaks, that bubbles were a big hit with kids of all ages.

We also braved the rickshaws, the...exciting...Indian driving experience and the bustle of downtown Coimbatore to have some fun too. We experienced Chennai Silks, the huge clothing store downtown and got ourselves some salwars, tunic tops, and saris. It is a good thing they have amazing staff there to help you out because what a process it is just to buy a few articles of clothing. Upon walking through the facade, it looked like chaos to us. There were people everywhere and it seemed as though there was at least one staff member for every customer, it didn’t take long to realize however that this store was run like a finely oiled machine.

Today we got to get off campus with some of the special care boys in the wheelchairs that last year’s IHI team funded. We took a short walk down the street for some coffee, tea and savoury treats.

Sundays were our days off here at FFC. We took our first Sunday to head up into the mountains to visit the charming little city of Ooty. Our second Sunday was spent in Coimbatore. We treated some of the staff here at FFC to the good seats in the theatre to see a Tamil movie. We saw Raavanan starring Aishwarya Rai and the crowd-pleasers Prabu and Karthik. Later that night, the four of us enjoyed a fancy dinner buffet (including meat we felt comfortable eating) at the Residency Hotel.

One of the most interesting things we were asked to be a part of during our stay here was a wedding reception for a girl who grew up here at FFC. The reception took place right on the main FFC campus and everyone got to participate and they all got dressed up in their best party frocks, salwars, saris and suits. The food was amazing and was probably one of the best meals we enjoyed during our stay here. It was really cool for us because a lot of the older kids came back for the celebration – people who are now away studying at college, working or who have families of their own now. It was amazing for us to see them interact with each other and with the younger kids still living here at FFC.

It was also really cool to see them with all of the staff. We can see how that would be a very rewarding aspect of working here – catching up with these kids that they worked with who are now adults. It would be amazing to see the person that they have grown into and know that you had a hand in helping them get where they are today.

Love Kayla, Jeremy, Marissa, Pranavi

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