January 22, 2010
Ok, so we went to India for a family holiday, my mother in-law was born over there and moved over to Australia 41 years ago with her parents and siblings.
My husbands parents and his siblings and their wives and husband and me and all our kids all met up in India.
When we arrived at the airport it was so quiet inside and as we met the doors going outside we were greeted with a swarm of people standing behind the ropes with signs of visitors names and maybe there were family waiting for their loved ones to come out also but it felt like the whole of the population was there, watching and staring as we passed them with all of our luggage and I our tired kids following behind us..
At first I thought WOW, this is awesome but then I began to feel overwhelmed, I cant explain it.
On our way to our hotel, I was scared at what I had seen in the first 5 mins of being there, we were driving through streets of poverty and it was everywhere. I knew it was a poor place but I didn't think it was this bad. I was scared for myself and my family, especially my kids. I was thinking to myself, I can't believe I have brought my kids here, I cant believe we are here, are we safe??
I was scared because people had washed my brain with scare tactics saying "hold on to your kids, dont let them out of your sight, they steal kids and sell them, etc" maybe that stuff does happen over there, I dont know, but it was a constant reminder to me everyday we walked out of our hotel..I didnt trust anyone.
We arrived at our hotel at 2.30am, and all I could think about was how many days will I have to be there for?
I managed to fall asleep, I woke to the sound of Bob Marley playing through the speakers that lingered through the hallways of the hotel.
I got up and stared out my window as I could hear people and traffic outside.
I wanted to go outside, I was curious. As we all went to visit my mother in-laws old boarding school I was nervous and excited at the same time, as we walked down the street I did not make much eye contact with anyone,I felt intimidated, I dont know why.
It was an awesome experience, I was so happy that we could be there with Betty as she walked around her old school grounds and reminised with an old friend who was there when she was a child also.
After the first day, I really liked being there, I wasn't game enough to take many pictures there, I didnt feel comfortable walking around with my big camera, I didnt want to stand out.
I wish I had the guts to kind of get out there and talk with the locals and ask permission to get photos of them and their environment, I really cant explain on here what the place is like, I just know that we are so lucky and I cant believe that these poor people are living the way they do.
On our last day, Adam and I went to do a little shopping at a small clothes shop that we had stumbled across.I couldnt believe how awesome this little shop was, we were there for a while and when we left we went back to the hotel and I took Mesha(my sister in-law) back with me.
It was awesome, I felt like I was op shopping but for brand new things..As I was loading up my little basket full of things to try on I looked at it and looked at the 3 young girls that worked in the shop and I was so badly over come with guilt.I didnt worry about trying the rest of the clothes on, I just put them back on the shelf.
My heart felt sad for them, that I was so lucky to come from such a beautiful rich country and then to come over to their world and walk around their little shop with my basket full of clothing.
As we come to the end of our stay there, I felt sad and guilty and a sigh of relief. Guilty that I had felt so many negative emotions towards this poor country, I had a taste of culture shock, this was something I was not used to and these poor people struggle to survive over there everyday. My heart was grateful that I was blessed enough to be born where I was and that I can raise my kids in a beautiful place and always have food freely available to them when ever they like.
We as a western culture are very spoilt and I hope i show my appreciation to this blessed country that we live in and I hope my kids grow up to appreciate what we have also.
We do hope to go back again, with out the kids, and I will be pulling out the camera this time.