It's a very difficult country to live in, India. When I first arrived all those years ago, within half an hour of landing I had gone through every conceivable emotion and then some. From awe to sheer desperation on the biggest emotional rollercoaster I'd ever got on.
Of course, some don't feel this at all when coming into India for the first time - we're all very different. But still, after 7 and a half years, I experience new emotions all the time. I realise for the first time either how deep or how shallow I am personally.
Yes, I sometimes do 'turn away' but not because I can't be bothred - it's just that I have seen so much that even though I know it's still there I have to be able to do what I have to do that particular day and keep those emotions in check. India is not for the feint hearted. I've come to know my strengths and weaknesses more than I thought possible - and I've come to know how much I love someone, and not just saying those words.
Even though I would like to be able to live in the West again, and even though I know how much I sometimes despair of living here - when and if the time comes for a final departure - I can't imagine the state my heart will be in. India grabs a hold of some people and refuses to let go - and I know that anything that I have done here for kids that I have been privileged to know, has been only a tiny drop in the ocean of teeming humanity that exists here - but I hope that one day those same kids might be sitting down somewhere, telling their children about this strange foreign lady they met....thirty years ago...
And my 'son'? well, what can I say! I'll never be the cause of my having to leave his side voluntarily, so no matter what, if leaving to live in the West is not ever possible for him - I will remain here. Love, real love - when it grabs you can't be brushed off and put aside through selfish motivations. I'm a lifer here until fate decrees otherwise :-)
Finding Ryan Chambers!
Ryan disappeared 2 and a half years ago whilst holidaying in india with a mate. His mum and dad, Jock and Dianne have remained positive through what I can only presume, have been hellish years.
Because of the sheer size of Care2, I decided I would form a group for support for his family. Also to ask that if any of you are coming to India, or you have friends who might be thinking about a trip like this - please pass the photos onto them. The link for "invite your friends" seems not to be working, so I would just ask you to visit this link: http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/missinginindia
and pass it on.
Ryan could be literally anywhere in the world now, let alone any place in India. Extensive searches by police, friends, family and complete strangers (to Ryan) have turned up nothing. For those who have been to India since August 2005, and those thinking of coming for whatever reason - all I ask is that you memorise his face.
Of course it goes without saying that your prayers would also be welcomed!
Thank you for your help - please do sign up as a member of this group, for support for Ryan's family!http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/missinginindia
Hmm..aging lazy wanabee author (no time) fanatical about the rights and treatment of children, and animals. A bit impatient...but gets it done! I can be a bit cranky when things aren't getting done as they should, ah but that comes from living in India for too long!
Three of the ladies that came with us for Tony's birthday lunch - unfortunately it looks as if the camera part of the phone is kaput! So this is about as good as it gets for the birthday photos lads, sorry! At this minutes the kids are all playing statues with 'Sun Music' on full blast, as well as their voices.....I have escaped into the sanctuary of my room and the laptop for an hour! Then it'll be time for eating - the rule today is you can have as much food as you want, as long as it's NOT good for you! ha ha!
These are some of the people that shared in the 30kg bag of rice we took this morning. Oh and the photo below is of Tony reading some of your ECards you sent him on his birthday! He gets on my table to type responses with his toe!
Please forgive me for not posting as often as I would like to - (thanks Mantha!) but I'm so bogged down with obligations right now - tomorrow morning we're going to buy and take a large sack of rice to families that live in home-made tents opposite the eletcricity board at the top of our street. they have nothing - we help when we can.
We received our first "Tony Fund" donation this morning and we thank you with all our hearts. AND HE'S OFF! God bless you all.
Taking a few kids out for the birthday lunch tomorrow - Thursday proved too difficult as we couldn't round them all up! Many seem to have disappeared through a large 'authorities' presence on the streets and are afraid they will be placed in care...so they're gone to other towns and cities.