Nitte Trip 2020
Pupils and staff enjoyed an unforgettable trip to our partnership school in Nitte, India, Dr. NSAM English Medium High School in November. Here, S5 pupils Jill and Eilidh (S5) write about their experience.
When we arrived in India we were greeted by Shree and Veena at Mangalore Airport. Despite the fatigue from 20 hours of travelling, we were all exciting for the fun filled week ahead. On route to our Guest House accommodation for the week, we were given freshly picked oranges from a local market.
Later that evening we visited Attur Church and a traditional Indian temple during the time of a festival so we witnessed historic rituals. The temple was filled with fresh flowers and incense as well as a holy fire to symbolise the beginning of the festival. This was a great introduction to Nitte!
On our first full day, Monday, we visited Dr. NSAM English Medium College where we were greeted by the school marching band and given handmade roses and blessed by rose water. We were then introduced to Mrs Radha Prabhu, the principal of the school, who made us feel very welcome. We visited many classes from primary to secondary and interacted with many of the pupils. This was a real highlight of our trip.
Later that day, we visited the local hospital, where we were toured around and shown all of the facilities that they have. We then visited a temple, a statue and a sacred cow sanctuary. Srinivas, a pupil that came to Scotland last month, hosted us for dinner that night, where the ice cream was delicious!
The following day, we visited the school and spoke to the project pupils, hoping to visit Scotland in the following year, about health and well-being in both India and Scotland. This was an interesting part of the trip as we compared the level of health and well-being encouraged in both countries.
In the afternoon, we visited a variety of different working factories – Bola Cashew factory, rice mill and rubber plantation. This was great to observe as we saw the differences in working conditions compared to Scotland.
On Wednesday, we visited a similar school, called MRSM school, where we spoke to the science project students and again spoke to the primary and nursery school children.
Following our visit to the school, we took a trip to the Pilikula Biological Park and saw a huge variety of animals, including lions and hippos.
After that we went to a traditional, pre-mechanised heritage village in rural India which involved many natural tools to create beautiful objects for the community. Next we visited St. Aloysius church, which was situated on the grounds of a college. The interior was very ornate and elaborate.
This was followed by a trip to Kudroli Temple, which was equally as beautiful as the church, to see the variety of religions within India and hence gathered more information on their culture as a whole.
We then took the bus to the Mukka Guest house on the South-western coast of India and ate dinner with Mr Hegde, who is the son of the founder of the Nitte Education Trust. This was the best night of our trip as we met many pupils who taught us games and also walked on the beach at sunset.
On Thursday, we woke up very early to travel to the city of Mangalore to visit KSHEMA Hospital. This was a fantastic experience as we were given the opportunity to have full access into all departments of the hospital, in particular the paediatric unit and cardiology unit.
We were then taken to the local medical college, where we were toured around the campus, which includes anatomy, pharmacology, forensics and toxicology. This experience was particularly interesting and memorable as we would not get this opportunity back in Scotland.
The next day, we went back to Dr MSAM school in Nitte where we took part in a pupil led yoga class and joined the Year 10 geography and economics class. It was great to observe the strategy of teaching in India where pupils are required to stand up when asked questions and must recite their knowledge on a specific topic.
After lunch, a few of the teachers helped us get dressed into sarees to present our final farewell Scottish presentation to the entire school. We performed the Virginia Wheel, which was very challenging in sarees. We then recited a Scottish poem called ‘Farewell’, followed by the singing of Loch Lomond and Auld Land Syne, where we invited the pupils to join in. Later that day, some of the girls from Year 9 and 10, kindly demonstrated their artistic talents by drawing henna on our hands. After this, we went to a very exciting temple called Kodyadka which had an elephant that blessed all of us. Something that is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
On our final day in Nitte, we visited the school for the last time which was filled with emotional goodbyes and gratitude for the faculty and pupils.
We then took a trip to Udupi to by sarees which was a stressful but worthwhile experience. Shree and Adithya, the other pupil who visited us in October, kindly hosted us for our final dinner in India, where we enjoyed playing games and trying new food. We are extremely grateful for all the work and effort put in by the teachers and pupils to make our stay as welcoming and as memorable as possible.
We were showered in an abundance of gifts that we have brought home with us and will keep forever. Travelling to Nitte is a fantastic, once in a lifetime opportunity, and we would encourage anyone looking for this level of an adventure to definitely consider in the years to come.
Nothing will top the capacity for compassion and kindness that we were part of in the Nitte community.
To see photographs from the trip, please click here
To see a video from the trip, please click here.