Today was another day that included a long bus journey. Once more we headed out into the heat of the day to the air conditioned bus this time to head out to Chengelputta where we. Visited St Hilda and St Hughes School, Alison Cassie School, the Abundant Life Hostel and Mahilam illam.
It’s always a special occasion when you turn up at a place you have visited before and people remember you, it’s moving and emotional. So often when out and about and feeling as though you are paraded because you are western visitors it feels as though you are doing nothing, and as with many people in the western world we want to feel as though we are doing something to help. This is a great reminder that sometimes the difference you make may not be world changing or revolutionary, but rather it is based upon the relationships you make along the way. It’s important to remember that it is not always about what we do for others but what other do for us and how that impacts on our lives – I really do think that when we visit India we receive so much from the people here, on a level that we cannot give, that is spiritual and emotional.
We spent some time with the little children aged about 3 – 5 years and then headed to the hostel. The hostel houses girls who are orphans and semi-orphans who attend the Alison Cassie School. After that it was off to Mahimal illam where once more we were greeted by children and young adults that remembered some of us from previous visits.
As you look around the field of the school and watch as the girls gather under the trees for their lunch, once more you cannot help but be reminded of the privilege of life. We are not owed anything, but we do have a gift of life that is sometimes harsh and filled with suffering. The girls laugh and chatter as they share in their lunch time experience. They giggle as we walk past and greet them with vaanakum. These children have very little in the way of material things but there is no escape from the riches they hold, those riches are indeed how they approach life and embraces all it has to offer. I can’t help but wonder why in the western world we feel we have a right to certain things, i think about the UN conventions and human rights, and believe we do have a right to safety and the basic needs of human life, so then the question has to be why do we sit so silently knowing full well that there are millions of people that do not have access to the basic needs of human life?
When did we loose sight of life as privilege and sharing life with one another in community as privilege, with individualism taking over so vehemently? I think there are many questions for all of us and questions that perhaps would help us engage with life so much more positively if we stopped each morning and just simply said thank you for life today.