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Kumar in Munnar

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Kumar in Munnar

Renee Schreurs

I’ve been working for My Name is Kumar for a number of months now, remotely from my home in London. Much of my work involves writing about the children and so I feel as if I have got to know them all (by proxy) quite well. I came to India at the beginning of March to complete my Yoga Teacher’s Training course at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala. And, after one month in the peace and tranquility of the ashram, I thought why not celebrate finishing my course by joining all the children, Renee, Tim and CARE Foundation on their summer vacation?!

I met everyone in Munnar, a hill station in the Western Ghats of Kerala, after their very long journey from the East Coast westwards. It took them a full day to get to us and I was asleep at our inn when they finally arrived. I first got to meet the children the following morning - us all with sleepy eyes and messy hair having just got out of bed.

Although for me the climate of Munnar is perfect, at around 25 degrees during the day and cold enough for a blanket at night, the kids were all standing, teeth chattering and blankets wrapped round them complaining that it was too cold. I guess when you experience a drop of almost 20 degrees (the daytime temperature in Chennai right now is about 40 degrees!) it will come as a bit of a shock…

During the day the weather was perfect for a full few days of sightseeing and activities. When our tour bus turned a hair pin bend and we got our first glimpse  of the rolling hills and mountains covered in tea the children all screamed with surprise and I could hear some of the younger girls whisper “so beautiful”. For many of the kids this trip was the first time they had ever left Tamil Nadu so it felt very special to be able to show them one of the wonders of their own country.

If anyone has been following our tweets and Facebook updates you’ll have noticed a running theme… chai. When surrounded by miles and miles of tea plants what else is there to do but drink some?

The kids all enjoyed 3 full days of sightseeing, tea tasting and boating, while I enjoyed being taught some Kollywood dance moves (which I performed badly) and taking many, many photos of the children. Below are a selection of our holiday snaps.

Thanks for reading, Alyce

Click on the photo to view the next in the slideshow.