Archive by Author | markfielding

Last few days catch up

We now have internet access so will share some of the photos and experiences of the past few days.


Dawn at Taj Mahal

Lunch en route to Jaipur

Jeep ride to Amber Fort Jaipur

Mr Matt Snake Charmer extraordinaire


Agra Fort


Dinner at Sheroes – Acid attack survivors

At Delhi airport

All arrived safely at Delhi airport.

We’ve had very poor wifi reception over the last few days in Agra and Jaipur.

All is well and the group is looking forward to returning home.


Day 8 Delhi


Our day started with a bus ride to Qutb Minar, which is the oldest Mosque in India dating back to  1193.Our tour guide, Sumit told us that the tower was started in 1192 and was not finished until 1369. The tower is 73 meters tall with a spiral staircase inside .

Afterwards, we drove to Humayun’s Tomb, which was constructed by Humayan’s widow during 1565-1572. This tomb predates and is the original template for the famous Taj Mahal. We walked around and interacted with the students from some of the local schools. We drove past Parliament House, The Presidential Residence and India Gate. We were then taken to a local restaurant where we were served with some local cuisine. After lunch went to Connaught Place for some retail therapy. One of the groups enjoyed shopping and complimentary coffee and cake from Starbucks, whilst the other proceeded to get lost and circle Connaught Place several times. Once regrouped we arrived back at YWCA we had some time to ourselves.

We had an early dinner at 7PM in preparation for tomorrow’s early start, shared in a reflection time and popped off to bed.

Written by Emma and Sally


Human’s Tomb


Making friends

Who is the popular girl?


Qutb Minar Tower

Ruins of the oldest Mosque in India

Qutb Minar

The daily debrief and sharing.


Day 7 Delhi

Today we left Musoorie and headed to Delhi. The trip began with a two hour drive descending the mountain to Dehradun Airport. The flight was straight up, with a clear view of the Himalayas, and straight down, less than 40 minutes in the air. We arrived and drove to our hotel, sharing the road with millions of other cars, tuk-tuks, buses, pedestrians and even an elephant! The sheer size of the population was our first shock, this single city having as many people as the whole of Australia!

In the evening, Vini, our tour guide took us to a religious hotspot which shared a Sikh Temple, two Hindu Temples, a Mosque and a Catholic Church all in one block of each other. It was really interesting to see the mix of people, religions, vibrant life and colour in such a small place. We then walked to Connaught Place which is like the Central Park of India and has one of the biggest Indian flags towering over 90m tall. To finish the day, Vinnie took us to a local restaurant, that served a delicious and filling traditional Thali meal.

Written by Liam, Evan and Alex


Take-off from Dehradun


Connaught Place


Thali Restaurant


Thali meal

Day 6 Woodstock

Today the group enjoyed a guided hike through the mountain ranges surrounding Woodstock School. Students were challenged by the terrain, however, rose to the challenge to enjoy the views and remote setting of the Himalayan Ranges. Our cultural understandings developed further as our guides educated us in regard to local practices, edible plants and bush medicine.

The afternoon allowed for a restful break, with a few hours downtime around the Hanifl Centre before our final dinner in Mussoorie. For one last time we enjoyed the evening views over the mountain city as we travelled to the Landour Bazaar and shared dinner with Mr Davies and his family.

Written by Mr Matt

On the Himalayan trail


Stunning scenery


Looking north towards the mountains


Tibetan prayer flags


Himalayan majesty

Day 5 Woodstock



Day 5 commenced with our first breakfast in the dining hall with the students of Woodstock, this also being the last opportunity to interact with the students and teachers.

At 9:30, we set off on a 90 minute drive through the foothills of the Himalayas, to a Samvedna Disabilities Centre in the village of Dhana. The centre caters for students with various physical and mental impairments and happens to be funded by the Australian High Commission in India. We experienced the day-to-day practises of the centre including the vocational centre (where the students learn practical skills such as washing, knitting and sewing), well as the physiotherapy room and the sensory room (used to stimulate senses with light, touch, smell and sound). Some St Stephens students were assisting the local students in simple activities such as counting money and recognising money, colouring in, puzzles and playing instruments. We then had fun playing with the students in the outside playground. After gifting toy koalas and a Australian outback cork hat to the students and teachers of the centre by our very own, Sally Bastow, we then departed back towards Woodstock, stopping on the way to eat a traditional Garhwali Thalli (tasting dish) and also observing the method of which the cuisine is prepared.

In the afternoon, we wandered through the Landour Bazaar, with its various  shops and restaurants. Students were able to explore and buy presents for friends and family before returning to dinner at Woodstock.

Signing off, Ethan, Mehul and Damien.


Working with students at the Samvedna Disabilities Centre, Dhana Village.

Enjoying some play time with students


In the sand pit with the kids


Sally presenting koalas to students at the Samvedna Disabilities Centre


Tandoori cooking at lunchtime


Day 4 at Woodstock



Our fourth day at Woodstock was a beautiful, interactive day, spent with the Woodstock students. The day began with most of our students heading down to a local school in Kaplani to continue painting the library, whilst the rest stayed at Woodstock to help with preparing Thanksgiving celebrations. This included packing donated clothes to give to the ‘Coolies’, those who help in carrying things up and down the mountains.

After lunch, we headed up the mountain to Chukka where we visited a local church, St Paul’s, where we learnt about its history. We then proceeded to walk around and admire the scenery offered to us by the beautiful forests. We stopped at Landour Bakehouse to buy some local goods, including brownies, lemon tarts and chocolate croissants. On our way back to Woodstock School, we were accompanied by some new furry friends, two dogs which we named Frankie and Arthur.

We shared the evening with some of the wonderful Woodstock senior students who accompanied us on a food and culture tour led by Mr Arjun Puri, a visiting scholar-in-residence. Our first stop was at a Tibetan restaurant, Doma, where we ate steamed and fried ‘momos’. Next we went to one of the oldest sweet shops in Mussoorie where we had samosas and chai. Our final stop was a south Indian restaurant where we enjoyed Dosas and some Indian sweets before heading back to Woodstock to recover from all the amazing food.


Written by Sally, Fraser and Emma.

Painting at Kaplani School


Sunset over Mussoorie


Food safari with Mr Arjun

Arrival in Delhi

After a delay in Bangkok, the group have arrived in Delhi and after a short night’s sleep are ready for the train trip north to Dehradun.

All are well.