Free time – Visit to the Koyembedu Market and the Churches
Message of the Day: “Travel is more than seeing sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living” –Miriam Beard (Madeline Chastain)
Today was our first day to not be with the kids because we don’t work on the weekends. Although we missed them, it was a fun-filled day in Chennai. Half of us woke up and left for the market at 7am and it was an incredible experience. The market had three sections: fruits, vegetables, and flowers. It was so colorful and loud with what I can only describe as controlled chaos. There were people everywhere, trying to buy and sell goods, people carrying an incredible amount of weight on their heads, and then there was us, just taking the scene in. The flowers, fruits, and vegetables were so vibrant in color and they all smelled amazing. It was such a good way to start our day and I’m excited for the other half of the group that gets to experience it tomorrow morning. After a great breakfast, we had some much needed rest time until a delicious fish lunch. After lunch we all headed off to the three Holy Sights of St. Thomas. The first that we visited was the sight where he was martyred called St. Thomas Mount. There we saw all of the relics of the saints and one of the bleeding crosses. When they built the Church they held the first mass and during the service the cross started bleeding. We walked around and the view from the top was unbelievable. I knew Chennai was big, but I didn’t realize the immensity of it until I saw it from that high up. The second sight we went to was where St. Thomas hid after he fled the palace from the King’s followers who rejected Christianity and his teachings. We got to go down into the cave that he hid in and saw the little opening that allowed him to escape when they found him. The coolest part was when we actually got to touch the place that St. Thomas touched to climb out of the cave, essentially touching the hand that touched Jesus’ wounds. The last sight that we went to was where St. Thomas was buried. We went down into the chapel where we got to sit and even approach the tomb of St. Thomas. Being in that silent chapel and seeing the people go up and pray in front of St. Thomas was a really touching and humbling experience. Our last stop of the day was the beach where we sat in the sand and the weather was so breezy and cool. Overall it was a great day filled with lots of adventure and self-discovery.
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