Hosanna Childrens Home for Orphans

Our last night in Mamallapuram we went to visit Hosanna Children home. We have brought a big bag of used childrens clothing from Denmark, and I also wanted to donate some money to the organization. I think handing money out to beggars, especially children, is an evil circle – but we felt obliged to help somebody, and not just stroll past all the poor and unhappy we meet on our travels.

So together with Pawel and Magdalena, we took a taxi from our hotel … They gave us such a friendly welcome. The children danced and performed, we played games together, and went out for a village walk. It was wonderfull to see which warm and hearty atmosphere Mr Balasamy, his wife and the wonderfull teacher can create. Having so little, they can still create a family for the children, and give them a good childhood.

Mr. Balasamy told us they have 10 orphans, and a child of their own. The house is tiny 3 rooms and a little yard – perhaps 50 square meters all together – and a leaky roof during monsoon time. Mamallapuram was hit by the tsunami, and this has left many children without parents. The orphanage is run without much financial aid – local shops donate rice and other food items.

Magdalena was taken by the girls, they painted her hand with henna, braided her hair with flowers – she was beautifull as a priness! Pawel enjoyed playing games with the boys. They gave us a lot of hugs, a lot of smiles – and taught us a few tamil words. I bought ballons and a carussel ride for the whole gang – this was the warmest feeling of happiness you can experience.

We went home in our tuk-tuk, thinking about which wonderfull people we just have met …

The adress of the orphanage is:

Hosanna Childrens Home For Orphans

Door. No. 47, Annal Gandhi Street

Mamallapuram / 603 104

email: hosannahomehelp@Yazoo.com

phone: 9380813798

Have landed

Well we have landed – everything went surprisingly smoothly at the airport in Chennai – where is the befamed Indian beaurecracy?
We were met at the airport at 2 am by Chandram, a taxi driver recommended by the owner of a coffe plantation in Coorg where we head next week –  even the megasized bag with used clothes for an orphanage got into his car …
I must defend myself: we have packed tried to pack “lightly” … hm … well it didnt quite work out, had to bring both mountainboots, sleepingbags, winterjackets for our nepal trek … anyway, we got into the car.

Checked into the hotel at 3am, got a very clean room, with a big double bed – I got to sleep in the middle. Woke up, eat a great breakfast buffet. Time confusion was the main topic of the day … London is GMT, Denmark is CET, Chennai is IMT, which means you have to either substract 1 hour, add 1 hour or 5,5 hours … When Magdalena wants to know the time, she asks for it in all 3 zones …

Pawel had the sole attention of the manager and about 3 waiters – everybody tried to make sure that he will not go hungry despite his gluten/lactose free diet … the little card with hindi translations just worked wonders!

We spend the day extremely relaxing – in the pool, jumping big waves at the beach … which is by the way bounty landish, soft sand, palms, and the indian addition: a couple of cows, some fighting dogs, a steady stream of villagers that use the beach as a major pathway from one village to the next, carrying loads on their heads and all smiles.

A local fisherman invited us into his house – a so called “restaurant” … clean, colourfull – but definitely not an restaurant. We promised to come back tomorrow – he will cook a meal for us.

In the evening, when the worst heat faded out we went with a tuk-tuk to nearby Mamallapuram – a little village, where all of  its inhabitants were walking the streets simultanously … bought local light clothing for the 3 of us, and retreated to spend the rest of the day relaxing.
I am struck by the extreme friendliness of people – they can be annoying yes, the traffic is chaotic, yes we use desinfectant wet wipes before each meal – but I really like where we are.

Lets see if I can successfully persuade my daughter to get out of the pool tomorrow?