Fourth message from Mrs J 

Really sorry, but I can't download this message.  I have emailed Mrs J (back at school today!) and asked her to re-write it for you.

And here it is!

Tuesday 30th October and Wednesday 31st October.
You will be glad to know that no one was ill after I became the assistant cook for the morning.
In the afternoon Julie and I joined the girls for snack which was milk and a plaintain.  At home as a rule I don’t drink milk (except milk shake I know not healthy). But I tried the milk as I have tried everything else and to my surprise it was warm and was sweetened with sugar.  Delicious.  One of the girls had a sachet of coffee to put in her milk and another had some Bournvita type granules (which she was eating prior to the arrival of her milk).  Once again the girls were keen to chat and to have their photo graphs taken. After snack I presented the primary children (12) with book bags which I had bought with me from school ( they had the St Loys logo on them).  The children were delighted and smiled a lot and of course they wanted their photo taken with Diane Aunty  ( I also wanted my photo taken too!).  Everyone was happy. It was a small gesture of the bag but greatly appreciated by the children.
This evening Julie showed the children photos on her projector (luckily it was battery powered as there is still no electric).  The girls sat quietly on the second run of the photos as during the first showing they were excited and wanted to chat about the photos and point themselves out.  It was interested when photos of packed lunches in England were shown that the children were not familiar with cartons of juice.  Later I was told these were expensive in india and therefore the girls may not have seen one before.
Sister Jovita then talked to the children in Tamil but I gathered it was about myself and Julie leaving the next day.  The girls listened attentively.  Sister then translated what she had said to me and yes you guessed it I cried. Her second language is English yet the words she said were so descriptive and lovely that I couldn’t help it.  She said that Julie and I had been wonderful with the children sitting on the ground and sharing their meal times with them and treated them as one of my own  and no other visitor had done that and it meant a lot to all the girls and to the sisters.  But do you know what I felt it was a privilege to have been there with them sharing in part of their lives and having such fun and being made so welcome.  I asked the girls if I could come back and visit there was a roar of YES.  God willing I only hope I can.
On Thursday Julie and I went to say goodbye to the girls, Julie took the lead in this process and if it had been left to me I would have stayed for a long time but she said we must be quick and just leave after saying goodbye.  I didn’t take a backward glance as I left as I was already crying and didn’t want the girls to see.
Thank you to everyone at Thamachimadam for making my stay such a happy memorable and enlightening experience which I will remember forever.  I will take away with me the image of happy, smiling, clean and healthy children who are determined to study well to enable them to get a better life.  The camaraderie between the girls was delightful and the care they had for each other was fantastic. The gratitude they have for the pupils, staff and parents at St Loys is very evident.  So everyone please get your sponsor monies in as it is so greatly appreciated.
I would also like to say a huge thank you to Julie who has made this trip possible for me and has been a great travelling companion (that sounds a bit stuffy so I think mate is better) as now I would class her as one of my mates.  Thanks Julie. See you when you get back for a curry!!!!.
I will sign off now but thank you for taking the time to follow my blog.
Diane Johnson

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