Day3: Our photo's at the Taj Mahal were all over the front national and local newspapers and on all the news channels!
We had breakfast in a special restaurant looking at the Taj Mahal it was absolutely beautiful... Myself and Miss Iceland World 2010 Fanney Ingvarsdottir got a little hyper...so here are a few fun pictures!!
We then visited a hidden spot unknown to tourists and it was spectacular to watch the silhouette of the Taj Mahal on that misty morning.
We met two gorgeous children and an old lady carrying their weeks supplies back to their house, which was made from mud and faced the back of the Taj Mahal. They were wearing the most beautifully coloured clothing and the old woman had silver bracelets around her feet. They were so tiny compared to me and even kneeling down I am the same size as them! It was like I had stepped into a National Geographic picture that had become a reality!
We drove from Agra to Dehli and I spent the whole time taking in every detail! There are people everywhere, walking through traffic, sitting at the side of the road, banging on the windows of the bus begging, standing behind their stalls, cooking food at the side of the street, carrying sacks of rice on their heads, waiting for buses, walking their cows... You see all kinds of people, business men, women in colourful sahri's, women in long black burkas, children wearing just cloth underpants that have turned brown with the dust, children dressed immaculately in bright red school uniforms, men in turbans and men in suits... There are monkeys on roof tops, climbing the electricity wires, sitting on window sills, rummaging through rubbish and sitting on doorsteps. There is poverty everywhere you look. There is rubbish all over the streets and you can't drive for two minutes without passing a person looking through a pile of rubbish for food.
One thing I found ‘difficult to digest' is the fact that you will see a small child looking for food amoung the rubbish and beside him will be a cow doing the same. The cow is a sacred animal in India and it is as if they value the cows life more than the child's sometimes. For example, in this particular instance the woman who owned the cow was looking through the rubbish to find food for the cow, not the little boy... I think it is probably just a cultural difference that made me feel this way it is just difficult to see that food is going to animal before it is going to a child...
We then flew from Dehli to Amritsar where our baggage went missing!!! We had no time to wait for it as we were meeting children from our school right away!
We weren't aware we had this arranged until we landed in Amritsar and so had no makeup and all looked quite tired having travelled for 12hours!!! However, the kids cheered us right up! They are taught by a very kind man who volunteers his time every evening after work to teach them. The children live in a small slum located beside a railway where they spend their day begging and their evening in school. This is one of my favourite moments: We were all interacting with the children and I was talking with the teenage boys (roughly 12-16years old) and I was trying to think of ways to make them happy/laugh or how to effect them in some way- with the younger children it is easier you can sing/ask them to sing or say a poem but with teenage boys I didn't know what to do- so I decided to ask one of the hotel staff to turn on music and I showed them some typical Irish dances, ‘big fish, little fish, cardboard box' and the likes and I got them to copy me! They then showed me some Punjab dance moves and we had a little mini disco. Everyone was jumping around and having a great time. I can honestly say it was one of the best moments of my life.
To give children who have so little happiness in their lives a chance to dance, laugh and smile meant the world to me. I really didn't want them to leave some were openly crying leaving and others had tears in their eyes, I was holding them back myself trying to be strong for them... I will remember that moment as long as I live.. Before they left we gave them all school jumpers and gave money to the teacher to help fund the school but more importantly we gave them, and they gave us a memory we will never forget.
After this we went to the Golden Temple, which was originally a temple for the Shik religion but now it welcomes all people of all religions. The temple is a huge structure made completely from Gold and it looks radient at night time with the lights reflecting off the gold.
We walked behind a prcoession of men in turbans, who were chanting and lighting insense. We touched the ground at the entrance of the temple as a symbol of respect and also to ask for good wishes from the Gods. There is a man dressed in white who leads prayer and another man who uses a large white feather to spread the insense smoke. We bow and touch the floor as a mark f respect for the traditional service.
As we drove to Jalandhar late that night we were greeted with bilboards with ‘Angels of India' written on them and our faces..it was incredible to see this, I never imagined anything like this would happen in my life...
when we reached Jalandhar we had fittings for a fashion show we would have the next day and then ran up to bed to catch some much needed Z's!