Sunday 17 February 2019

Sport's day, Camp and Pooja

Sport's day

Both the boys have had their sport's days but on different days.

The day starts off with a marching parade past the crowd with the best house winning and gaining points. There is also a horse parade, as the school offers horse riding as a sporting activity alongside football and swimming!
Max managed to win a medal and got to go on the podium as did Milo.
Both days were enjoyable but so unbearably hot even though we had a fancy shaded area provided.

The weather has suddenly changed from cooler mornings where it is nice and fresh to hot, hot, hot!

The mosquitoes, frogs and snakes are back too. This week alone 3 highly poisonous Cobras and a Russell's Viper have been found in our community and removed by the experts, but everyone is on guard!

Max getting his medal.

Milo was in the relay team.


It was Max's turn to go to camp and he went for the school week. He was not keen on the first night and we had a rather emotional call from him. In the background, as he face timed, we could see boys chasing each other with pillows, running, shouting and generally annoying their teachers but Max wanted to sit quietly!  I sent a message to one of the teacher's saying that he was anxious.

The next night, after a day of crawling through mud, building rafts and climbing huge poles, knowing he had been busy, we waited for his call.
 It was a bit like the "hello mudda hello fadduh (camp Granada) song  by Allan Sherman from the sixties. He was bright, breezy and shouting with the other boys.
Luckily, the new positive attitude continued every night, including the last night, where they had a bonfire, barbecue and a disco. He did ring us up, but spent the whole time talking to his friends and not us!

He came home exhausted and his clothes were covered in mud. He was rather proud that he had 3 showers without being asked. So some progress was made after all!

The idea of the camp is to promote leadership skills and to develop confidence.

Max and some of his pals .


The boundary wall at the factory plot has been completed and the builders were ready to 'break the ground' to start the foundations. In India to do this you have to have a ceremony called a Pooja. On that day Max had an exam and Milo had practise for his Sport's day so we didn't take them with us which turned out to be rather a shame.

When we got there, there was another fancy tent with a few rows of covered seats ( like at a wedding) and a Hindu priest sat on the ground on a piece of blue tarpaulin. At the edge of the tarpaulin was a coconut draped in pretty flowers, a photo frame with 3 gods/goddesses in it, a few  breeze blocks with flowers, a pick axe with flowers on and several other building implements with decorations or flowers. There were also lots of offerings of food such as rice, bananas and strange nuts.
We thought we had come to watch the Pooja but we were so wrong. We had to take off our shoes and sit on the a small wooden seat and lead the auspicious Pooja ceremony ourselves.
It involved lots of holding of rice and flowers in our enclosed palms and then sprinkling them onto the coconut at the front while the priest chanted.

We also gave the coconut bananas and these nut things. I think the coconut was supposed to represent Mother Earth but I'm not quite sure on that part. The idea behind the Pooja is that you are saying sorry that you are going to interfere with nature by building on the bare earth.

After about 20 minutes all the offerings had been given and then we had to have a very heavy rod ( with flowers on again) we had to tap the earth 3 times and then use a solid small shovel to scrape away the earth 3 times. Each person present had to do this and this was the Ground Breaking part of the ceremony.

Then once we had all done this we were offered a sweet cake in celebration.
We started off wearing our building helmets but the site manager decided we needed to take them off as we were doing the Pooja.

The man in the pink shirt behind us told us what to do .

Breaking the ground 3 times

The Hindu priest who lead the ceremony

Scraping the earth 3 times

We then had an Indian breakfast and coffee with all the people present including the builders, architects and management team.

Arjun had gone with us onto the site and luckily he had managed to take lot of photos and some video clips.

The blessed breeze blocks will be put in the factory wall as the factory is being built.

There will be another Pooja for when the building is finished and we will make sure that we take the boys next time. We will make also sure by then that we have found out more details about what goes on and what the full ceremony means in detail.

Update ! April 2024

  20 people sharing 2 menus! When we go to a restaurant, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep a straight face so that we do not ups...