Monday, 26 November 2012

Ground Control.

I got off the plane at Sydney and everything was orderly and civilised. Walked out of customs and saw Dave and the boys. They were so WHITE. And clean! There wasn't one ounce of dirt on their faces. Their clothes were fresh. Dave looks better with each passing year ... how is it that men age so well?

I thanked him so much for everything. He winked and carried my bags to the car. We ate sushi for lunch, I had two double-shot skim lattes in a row, then we went up to the beach for the weekend.

I'll be doing Pinterest tutorials on how to achieve such a fringe.

I couldn't wait to see my mum. She invited us for lunch and made four different salads including a baked potato salad.

 She was beautiful. I could tell she'd been crying. Jim was still gone. Sometimes I want to drive to the hospital to pick him up because surely there's been some kind of mix-up?

We finally drove home last night. I didn't want to come home. To be honest I don't really want to be home. Home feels weird and strange. You could fit Rashni's entire house into our front foyer. I've never felt comfortable about living in such a big house and often apologise when people come to visit for the first time. "Sorry the house is so big!"

I keep wondering why I went to India. I keep worrying that what I did, said, wrote, wasn't enough. It probably wasn't. It would take months for me to convey everything I saw and felt and learnt. What will I do with it all, now? Shake my hands and say, well, that's THOSE poor people of India done!

I hope their stories spill out of me for a long while, yet. I hope I do them justice.

It's been a long, hard slog. I went there for ten days and now I'm home again .. I don't have the stamina or tenacity to be a World Vision worker out on the fields, making all the difference.

I bought a new bedspread. The textiles are AMAZING.

The textiles are made by women like this:

Women so proud that they have jobs, have created a workspace for themselves INSIDE the slums they are living in. (All achieved by self-help groups made possible by World Vision donations.)

These women now have the chance to work hard, save up, open a bank account, and get a loan to further their businesses. These women are extraordinary. We asked them so many questions. I told them how loved and adored their handiwork was over here in the west. They beamed.

They love their babies just as much as we do. They live in the same world, are entitled to the same rights as we are.

Yesterday a fire broke out in a Bangladesh garment factory, at last count the death toll was over 110 people. Mostly women. Women just like the women in the photos above. Just trying to earn money and make a living, making beautiful textiles, colourful clothes ... pink bedspreads.

Life isn't fair.


I expected to return home annoyed at all of the Christmas decorations and music and mania - but I'm not. (I hereby give you permission to celebrate Christmas, whities!) Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. I'm resolved to not buy fake cheap crap from China, though. Know any cool fair-trade gifts or websites? I like things that mean things. That don't literally cost the earth.

In a mad scramble to get out of the car at Delhi airport to start the long trek home the other day, I left my fancy expensive phone on the back seat. I stood there and cried like a little baby, so sad and frustrated and angry at myself. And India. Curse you, India! I was only trying to help!!

I sank to the ground like a distraught toolbag. Did not care who was watching.

Carly rubbed my back, Joy stood right next to me, and Misho put his phone on international roaming so he could call the car company in Delhi to get them to turn the driver around. The driver who we didn't even tip because we'd ran out of rupee. I tipped like a KING the whole time I was there, except this driver.

I did what I always do in extremely stressful and emotional situations: completely gave up. Told Misho not to worry. But he got through, so I found myself standing at the drop-off section, waiting in vain for somebody to do the right thing. That's all. Sometimes we can't move mountains or learn a symphony or reinvent the wheel. We just have to do the right thing.

The driver came back.  Passed my phone through the window of his shabby car. He could have sold my phone and fed his family for a month. I was crying and so grateful, grabbed his arms and said "THANK YOU! SO MUCH!" He was embarrassed, like it was nothing.

I'm so bone-tired, so emotionally exhausted. I feel like one of these guys.

I'm being as kind to myself as I possibly can, cutting myself some slack. My boys .... they are so clean, and so white, and so impressionable and beautiful and my biggest treasures. I'm beyond lucky, and have a big spirit of gratitude.

Maybe I went to India ... simply because I was asked.

Life can really crack you open when you say yes.

World Vision gifts for Christmas.

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