India: Missing

November 17, 2012

I flicked through my camera roll, searching for pictures of my kids. I miss them.  Internet over here is sporadic and only available in the hotel where we are staying so I haven’t had much contact with them. I did manage to Skype my girls the other night, briefly until the internet cut out.

My eldest, she’s 11, said, “Mum, I really miss you. I really, really miss you.’

“I miss you too precious girl. Are you okay?”

“Yes, but I just miss you.”

“Honey, I need you to stay strong so I can finish this.  So I can tell people about the need, the children.  We are a team, and this is your part to play.”

I saw her nod.  Still, pain shot through me at the edge of sadness in her eyes.

I miss my husband too.  So much.  I miss the hugs the most. I miss his steady and comforting presence.  I miss him making me laugh.

Yesterday, we went to visit rural organic farms.  I’m looking forward to writing a post about it because it was a beautiful, positive day.  On the way back to the hotel, I said to Eden, who was sitting next to me in the car, “I want to go home.”

“Home, home?” she asked.

“Yeah.”

I was having a weak moment.  Driving in India is like nothing I’ve experienced, and I’m not joking when I say we’ve experienced thousands of, what I would call, near miss collisions.  Thousands. The roads are bumpy and the hours spent in the car are exhausting, as my body is jolted this way and that.

You see, I’m over here in India, and it’s strange.  It’s strange to be so far away from my life, my family.  There are many times, like that moment in the car, when I wonder what I’m doing.  If what I’m doing is enough.  If I’m doing it right. I worry about being away from my family for so long.

I’m sure some may wonder why World Vision would invest in sending a team of bloggers over to India.  I’ve thought about this myself because I need to feel confident about what I’m doing.

The thing is, the majority of World Vision’s work is sponsored through donations, from people like you and me, and they need to fundraise to generate this money so they can continue the work. They need to tell people of the need, and of the work they do, and this is one way to do it, and I feel burdened and privileged to be entrusted with such a message.  If you’re interested to know where the funds go, it’s all transparent on the website.

In the car – when I desperately wanted to go home — I recalled the first meeting I had with World Vision many months ago, when one of the staff talked to us about the evolution of World Vision project models over the years.  Not riveting stuff, but still important to know.  And then, in the middle of it, seemingly out of the blue, this large man started to cry. You could feel the shock in the room.  He was talking about the period of time when there was a recession in Australia, I think in the 1980’s, and many Australians had to tighten their belt; often giving is the first to go.

When he could speak again, he said, “I had to come into work every day.” He paused, trying to hold his voice steady, and then he continued, “And decide which projects to cut.”  Over 20 years passed since this time, and to see him so visibly shaken is something I’ll never forget.

I can appreciate, more fully, what he meant now.  When I see the need of these people, the incredible passion and joy of the World Vision staff in each area, and the light in the people’s eyes when they tell of how much World Vision has done for them; I can see why he cried.

Imagine if I had to tell Lajja, living in the rag picking slums that her friends from World Vision would not come anymore. To teach her. To support her. To help her give a better life for her children.  Imagine if I told the vibrant child journalists their meeting  place was to be gone, and potentially their voice too.

I come back to why I’m here doing this.  I come back to missing my kids and wanting so bad to be back home again.  While I would love, love to see hundreds of child sponsorships come from this experience, or for Christmastime, countless presents given through World Vision gifts…this is not a post asking for support. This is a post of how I feel, what I see, and what I know. It’s like a puzzle, piecing together things past with things present; things felt with things seen; what I know and what I’ve learned. It’s a post about awareness, and how there is always sacrifice involved in doing something worthwhile.   Always.  Giving, costs.  Yet, giving gives back. I know I will live a richer, more grateful life because of this experience.

I’ll end this post with a rose, complete with styrofoam balls. This rose was given to me by a young organic farmer, who was visibly very nervous.  To be honest, this rose is something I would throw out at home.  It really has no monetary value.  And yet, to me, it’s incredibly precious and something I will keep for always, because of how it was given. It was given to honour, and it reminded me, that it’s not what we give that matters so much, whether that be time, or money, or prayers, or support, but it’s the attitude behind how we give.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Zoey @ Good GoogsNo Gravatar November 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Big hugs to you Kel. Cannot imagine how overwhelming it is at the moment. But you never know just how far your story will travel. xox

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar November 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm

There’s a lot of comfort in that thought Zoey.

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Donna LongNo Gravatar November 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm

This blog is a mazing heart felt warm inspiration !!!!Your kids are amazing and as a step Grandmother and Grampy we miss them too and Matt He is a good Man
Excellent blog Kell Love Donna xxx

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar November 25, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Thanks Donna.

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Nikki @ Styling YouNo Gravatar November 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Kel, you are an amazing mum and woman. I’m blown away by what you three are bringing to our awareness from your trip. xx

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar November 25, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Nikki, you gorgeous thing, I don’t how we would have achieved so much without people like you behind us. Thank you. x

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Lisa woodNo Gravatar November 17, 2012 at 11:03 pm

That rose says it all – red roses are for love.
And that is what you are giving….giving love to your family from afar, and love to those you are in contact with right this minute.
And that for now is all that makes this whole trip worthwhile. Sending you a hug from afar xxx
Stay Strong Kel, your trip will be over soon, and your memories will last forever.
Thanking you for sharing.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar November 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I’m home now, and not for a moment do I regret going. Yes, life-changing.

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PennyNo Gravatar November 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Kel, stay strong. I know I would feel exactly the same way if I were away from my family but my dear you are making a difference, you are creating change and you are acting for those people who can’t. I’m so inspired by you right now. Sending my love. Stay safe. xx

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar November 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Dearest Penny. I like you a lot. Do you know that?

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PennyNo Gravatar November 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Kell, I think I may like you more than your button necklace *gasp* :p
So glad you’re home safe and sound. I can just imagine your children being squeezed two centimeters taller by you!

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Sam StoneNo Gravatar November 19, 2012 at 7:38 am

You certainly are a strong mum and woman. It is amazing the difference you will make from this trip.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar November 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Thanks for your encouragement Sam.

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Deb @ Bright and PreciousNo Gravatar November 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

You are doing such a great job there, Kelly. Your mother heart is missing your kids but its your mother heart that is needed in India right now too. xx

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar November 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Oh, you’re gorgeous Deb, and you always know just the right thing to say, and how to say it. You have a special way with words.

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