Islanders Return From DoE Trip To India

Two islanders have returned from a three-week Duke of Edinburgh gold award trip to Northern India.

17 year olds Hannah Pearce and Beth Thomas were amongst a party of 18 Truro High School students and 4 staff who spent a week at a school in Manali in the Himalayas.

They decided to help improve the school’s facilities and helped out painting and decorating for the first week of the trip.

Both girls were shocked by the living conditions and say they really appreciate the fact that we have running water, sanitation and food choices which islanders take for granted.

Beth and Hannah said the level of poverty in towns and amount of begging was a culture shock at first, particularly those with physical disabilities or begging with children.

The girls found that they had to stay alert when they travelled in the region as their European appearance drew unwanted attention from men, but in the school they enjoyed being a novelty for the children.

The girls left gifts of balloons and colouring books for the children when they left.

Hannah and Beth say the experience wasn’t necessarily one they would wish to repeat, but it gave them a broader outlook of what is out there in the world and helped them appreciate what we have on the islands so much more.

You’ll hear more about the holiday part of their trip to the Taj Mahal and Delhi on the Radio Scilly Travel Show after 11.15am on Saturday.