The PHS India Trip for 2014 is getting very close now. In just under four weeks we will be flying to Chennai, via Dubai. It will be the third party of staff, students and adult volunteers to experience the heat, noise, and colour (and smells!) of India at first hand. Helen Milligan and fellow teacher Sue Motley will be accompanying them, and Sue’s husband has been brave enough to say he will go, too. Also accompanying the trip are former students Jake Aldridge and Mark Johnson, both “survivors” of previous trips, and committed supporters of The PHS India Project, and of India Direct. The new team members will find their previous experience a great comfort (we hope…), and Helen is delighted to be travelling with them again. (They are both adept at cockroach removal!)Bed Companion

The flights, bus and accommodation are all booked, and a daunting programme of immunisations started straight after the Easter holidays. Visa applications proved to be very complicated (and expensive!) but are finally approved, and the Risk Assessment has been submitted. The pre-trip team-building residential weekend takes place next weekend. Of course this involves eating curry, putting up mosquito nets, and other character building challenges such as cooking for 23 people.

The team of 18 students (two of whom visited Bethel and Joy in 2011, and are back for more) have worked tirelessly over the last two years to raise money for the trip. Plans include taking all the children from both Bethel and Joy for days out, and doing craft activities and games with them at the homes, and painting the wall at the temporary Bethel site with a mural. There will be a medical camp in village near to Joy Home providing some basic medical care in a rural area, where normally none is available. This has been financed by some individual donations, and over £500 from a PHS “out of uniform day” specifically given to fund a medical camp.

It’s exciting and a little bit scary, but we are all really looking forward to seeing the children of Bethel and Joy Homes at last, after supporting them, and planning for this trip, for such a long time!

Has everyone got their passport….?