Today is my Mothers Birthday , and it is the 2nd one we as a family have had to share without her .
So today i decided that it would be a good day to write another story .
I have returned to India five times now over the 6 past years , and each and every time has been a new and emotional journey that i find myself on .
When i decided to go back i realised that it would be a good idea to do some new reading about places that i could find and explore .
For one of my birthdays my mother had asked was there something special that i would like , and my response was “yes , there is a book called the Lonely planet” and it was one based on Mumbai and Goa .
So that book was given to me and there was the next chapter of my life beginning without me realising it .
I read that book and it has come with me on the last few trips , i found it to be very helpful and very inspiring .
It was in this book that i was able to find the Goa Animal Welfare Trust , the animal shelter that i have spent the last few trips going to help and volunteer my time .
This is my way of being able to give back to India in a way i know how .
The people who help with this organisation have become very dear to me and now i am in the process of making a small coffee table book,a compilation of the photos that i have taken over the past visits .
Many tears and days of feeling a sense of hopelessness , i have come to know that it is at least better to give what you have and try to make a difference , even if it just s help a few at a time .
I knew that i was able to help in small ways , sponsoring a dog , helping to fundraise for all the hard work that they do and just give my time to help .
And so has begun one special relationship with a highly regarded NGO in India , and i know that i will continue to promote their work and encourage others to learn and experience the change that we are able to make together .
Another special moment that will stay with me forever was the day i walking down the beach shack in Candolim North Goa , along the beach road are dozens of small shops , selling their wears and trying to make a living each and very day of the tourist season .
There was a man selling ice creams and i looked over and there was a small boy looking at me , well me being me asked him would he like one , and that was that …..he became my special little friend .
He was there when i returned from my day at the beach , and we had another ice cream , and this time all his family had one . so this began our daily ritual for the days In Goa .
And so trips to Goa to see my “kids ” are part of my life now , parcels packed and sent and phone calls to and from India are normal , always looking forward to hearing them and any news they have to share with their Rani ( their name for me ).
They are growing up before my eyes and each visit i see them in different ways , they enjoy coming on day trips , we go shopping and to the markets , things that they usually do not get to do .
Ice Cream has become a fun part of each day we are together , they get to choose the ice cream for the day , and it is somehow our little thing that we all look forward to each hot day .
To have such love come into my love i feel so very blessed.
Love and family can be in many forms and i now am in a very fortunate place to be able to continue to share my story … xx