Leadership is about serventhood by Ryan Pisani

Saturday 16th July 2005

So, the adventure has started. Some are calling it a mission, I am calling it a challenge.
It was a bit painful the departure, leaving family and friends for 11 weeks is not an easy thing to do. At the airport apart from family, Alison, Erica and Mario also came.

The flight to Munich was quick, no hassles apart from some stomach ache due to excitement. Then the “long” 4 hours stay at Munich airport…not a very nice thing; then the short half-an-hour flight from Munich to Frankfurt. And then the Jumbo jet. Luckily I got the emergency seat and such comfort was available.

Sunday 17th July 2005

Arrived at Bangalore airport after 8.5 hours of flight, and 1 hour waiting for the baggage. Fr. George Matthew was waiting for me. Slept at Breads (North Road), woke up at 9, breakfast at the Provinciat – arrived there on a motorcycle. Back to North Road where I decided to walk around, visit an internet café’ (Rs15 for 45 mins) and bought recharge for the Indian sim card. Lunch again at Provinciat . Highlights of this morning: cows!!! Yes, it’s true, they are everywhere also in the middle of the roads. At 2.30pm I caught the train for Davangere. By the way, driving here is the craziest I have ever met! The train trip, was illuminating. Poverty can be seen every 100m the train traveled. It was shocking... slum areas, people living on mounds of garbage and mud, living under cloth tents. Now it’s raining and I can only imagine how their lives is even more miserable now…if only possible.
With Malta a fresh member of the EU I started seeking opportunities that were now available at hand.
Arrived in Davangere (after 5.5 hours of train) where Brother Rojan came to pick me up. Caught an auto-rickshaw and arrived in Suprabha – a special home for Child labour kids. There were kids watching TV, then eating. It was hard for them to get to grips with my name, so they just laughed. They are all so cute and yet they have seen enough for their tender age. Now tomorrow I will leave here to go and stay at Sujyothi – another home, where there are around 20 boys.

Monday 18th July 2005

Woke up at Suprabha, mass, breakfast with kids. During clean up I helped them. I got to know 2 kids – Manju and Mantas. The smile on their faces was constant, whilst holding my hands, and fighting to take me round and meet all the other kids. Remembering their names is a really hard job. During the day I got to know more the kids and the masters. All great people. Then at 16.30 I left Suprabha and arrived at Sujyothi. What a welcome!! A song, shaking hands, greeting that only Indians in their utmost hospitality can give. After unpacking my things went to help them out weeding the 20 acres of land full of coconut, banana trees, corn and other products. After that – innocence in its pure form – open showers. Laughter was constant. Study time then dinner, dancing (Indian funny style) then goodnight prayer, including another welcome and a summary of who I am by Fr. Joy. Ending the day with another Kannada film – mix and match!!
Highlight: every minute I am experiencing something new. Till now this has been the nicest experience of my entire short life.

Tuesday 19th July 2005

Woke up for the first time at Sujyothi at 6.15am. For the kids is study time, then cleaning, breakfast, lessons, lunch, lessons. During the break I got to know more the teachers and Kannada – the local language. After school played football. Confirmed that I’m not good and that it’s bloody more difficult in tropical heat! I also tried cricket. Still haven’t got a clue about the rules but I guessed that hitting the ball with the bat is part of the game! After that more weeding near the coconut trees, and finally after 3 days, I ate something sweet – coconut. Yummy. The kids are just fantastic. They all love me and I love them all. God bless them.

Wednesday 20th July 2005

This was the day of the first fever. Woke up well, feeling great, I even gave an English lesson teaching months and days of the week. Not an easy task for the kids to learn English because of the different letters they use.
Then it’s food time. I still can’t get used to the fact that everything is spicy!! But today I tasted coconut -> not spicy! Then the evening came when I felt that I had fever, so I ate and had an early sleep. The sleep wasn’t quite restful because of the fever.

Thursday 21st July 2005

This was the day of the “kallu” – Kannada word for stones. Bro Rojan woke up with the idea of making the front garden full of small stones. A very nice idea but an idea which required lots and lots of arms strength. So the day was spent collecting stones and putting them in the front garden. During this day I also had a couple of falls, not making much a day bright, given also that I was still suffering from the fever.

Friday 22nd July 2005

The day was quite a normal day: kids, rain, fever, laughing, playing, coconut, spice!! Was expecting a phone call from the family. Not an easy experience to live so far away in a completely different culture, with lack of modern comfort and alone. But I found and finding my strength in the smiles of all the kids, in their hugs, in their need of affection. They all seem to be coming out of a cartoons – maybe Peter Pan – who knows. In them I am finding the spirit of going on.

Saturday 23rd July 2005

Quite a relaxed day, until the afternoon when I went with Fr. Joy and Bro to Suprabha. Not Suprabha was stressful but the trip. The craziest driving, the bad roads etc!! People have no idea of road rules. Then after arriving, the rest of the day was relaxing again.

Sunday 24th July 2005

A sleep-in finally. Then an Indian style mass at Suprabha. Then ate for the 1st time rabbit…with chili!! That explains why I ate it because I did not taste the rabbit. Then after lunch another adventure. First auto-rickshaw drive to the internet café “My Cyber Café’” A very nice Internet café’ and only Rs30 (30c) for 90 mins. Lots of emails to read and write. Then after that a loooong 45mins walk through the rain, mud and rickshaws trying to give me and Suman (a kid) a ride. Arriving finally at the Bus Terminus. The bus got filled up to the brim, literally. It gave a ride to double its capacity. All through these 2 days you can see how being a white person attracts lots of attention. Their hospitality is at its best.
Highlight: Mass – such colourful saris and the best dresses they had, they wore them not to show off but to show respect to a God who gave His child to live like them, poor, to suffer like them, to know what having nothing means, but also knowing how one thing can always be in abundance – love – it is given free and can be given away for free. This is what these kids are giving me – Love. And I hope that through my own weaknesses I find the humbleness of Christ and give my utmost love.
Monday 25th July 2005

Days are started by the unwrapping of “sweets”...not real sweets, but to awake the kids, I have to unwrap their sheets from around their small bodies and discover who is lying there and try to wake them up.
I never thought that I would feel home sick but so far and so deprived of many things, these are making me a bit longing for some familiar things. These moods come and go. Hope that with the arrival of new kids, and with the passing of time, I will remove these bad moods.
Something which every time is impressing me, is the generosity of these kids. Yesterday I gave Suman a piece of cracker; he just broke it in half and gave the other piece to another kid. Today then Shar came with a sweet to give it to me. Such is their generosity in their poverty.

Tuesday 26th July 2005

I have to write about the way the Indians eat. Their hands come to life with such dexterity...they turn rice (and all kids of food) and sauce into a ball, fitting their subtle mouth. All this is done with one hand only...the right hand.

Wednesday 27th July 2005

Today I will write about the way of life I am living but which the kids are and will be living. So, I am in a farm and living life away with a washing machine, hot water, computer, mother, father and family. These things have been taken for granted for 22 years of my life but then when you lack them you appreciate them more. This is one of the greatest lessons I am learning. I hope to find in this experience the humbleness to appreciate the “normality” of my life.
Luckily these things are being replaced by other beautiful things. Starting with that here everything is natural – fresh milk, rabbits running free, rain water; then knowing and learning farming things – what to weed, what to clean. Then the finding of new friends in the persons and kids I am meeting and getting to know them better everyday. This is the greatest gift.

Friday 29th July 2005

Today Bro Rojan left for Bangalore for 3 days. Bro Rojan has become a dear friend and a companion. His departure has thus put me again in a nostalgia mood. But I should say that by the end of the day I have recovered quite well and now hoping that tomorrow will be a normal day with no sign of nostalgia.
Let me talk about power cuts. It is not that there is a power cut every some days…no…power cuts is a daily thing. The government to spare energy, it cuts the current in one part of the state to give it to another during the day (this happens every other day). Then every single day there is always a power cut that lasts just a few minutes.

Saturday 30th July 2005

Quite a quiet day and no much hassles. Rain is going down everyday. It seems that it has never rained this much in south India. In fact in these couple of years they were suffering from a drought. Some are even thanking me for brining luck and rain!!

Sunday 31st July 2005

Today I left with Suman to Davangere to go to Suprabha. Arrived late after half an hour of interesting bumpy bus ride. Good lunch there and nap. Then at 7pm mum and dad called. I was waiting for the call because I was feeling a bit down due to lack of things to do and Bro Rojan’s absence. A 20-min call which gave me a taste of Malta and how my parents are even missing me more then I am. But also feeling that they are worried about me being so far away. Then after that dancing and playing with the kids, dinner and sleep.

Monday 1st August 2005

Bro Rojan came back at 5am so my mood swung back to a good one. In fact I had a good sleep-in, a breakfast, then went to the market with Bro to buy some veg. Then back to Suprabha and lunch, then left to go to downtown again. First to a 1950’s bank!! Yeah it was so old. Then to internet café and back to Sujyothi. Where the kids were really happy to see me back. The ride back was in a full up bus where 28 people were standing up instead of 14!! Back in Sujyothi went to check out the farm with Bro and confirmed that me and Bro have become good friends.
Highlight: At 13:30 Claudette Baldacchino from Super One News called to interview me about the monsoon. I would be heard in the news!! My oh my!!! Yeah people in Malta are really worrying due to the monsoon and the death of over 1000 persons in Mumbai. Here in Davangere the problem is not that acute though it has been raining constantly for almost 2 weeks now.

Tuesday 2nd August 2005

Today was the “spring cleaning day”, the kids, including me cleaned thoroughly the dining halls. After that, in the afternoon more weeding was made. By the end of the day I was totally fatigued!!

Thursday 4th August 2005

I reduced my food intake due to stomach aches, which by the afternoon turned into a headache and sore-throat.
Today 6 new boys came with Fr Joy. Also with Fr Joy came Fr Joe the vice provincial of Bangalore (under which the states of Karnataka and Kerela fall). In Fr. Joe’s reflection something struck me: what actually is being done here is freeing the oppressed – which is Jesus’ mission.

Friday 5th August 2005

The sore-throat turned worse and the night was not restful so I took this day quite relaxed though I would have preferred if it has been hectic and with the kids, but health comes first. So during my free time I worked on the thesis.
Then the BIG mistake…took a shower with obviously cold water and that is when my body decided that enough was enough. Fever went up and so went to bed earlier. Though again the nigh was not so restful.

Saturday 6th August 2005

Woke up with a worse sore-throat. Had to go to the hospital but Bro Rojan forgot and I forgot to remind him. But then I changed the bed mattress (from a half-an-inch mattress to a thicker one) plus an extra pillow, plus I found out that the great Bro Rojan has vicks vapo rub; together with a secret drink, and some rest; health seems to be coming back again!
Bro Rojan is a great person; he even prepared for me some food – sweet and no chili!
Today Erica left for China. Her adventure starts!
Whilst I was washing 2 pairs of socks, this reflection cropped up. Even when I’m sick I had to do my washing. It was something I had to do, and it was for myself. Now I can appreciate more why mum keeps on washing and doing all the house chores even when she’s sick… because they have to be done. But the difference lies in the fact that what she does is an act of pure generosity, as she does it for us and not for herself. Mums like her are today’s daily saints.

Sunday 7th August 2005

Left for Suprabha. Throat still not good. At Suprabha had a quick breakfast and mass in which I prayed heartily for God to give me back health. The day passed in a relaxing mood; with mum and dad calling but only for 10 mins which made me long for them. Then we watched an American film!

Monday 8th August 2005

Today went to the doctor and told me I had a throat infection so ordered me some pills and medicines. Then to the internet café then back to Suprabha for a relaxed day to recover.
Today I met with this quote which I will write down for posterity:
“CHRIST – THE MASTER TEACHER
Christ was the master teacher although…
He never had a teacher’s degree, never attend college, never heard of educational method.
Yet…
Christ was the Master Teacher because He used events, experience and the language of the people;
He knew how to love others; He was a role mode; He shared the faith; He prayed to His Father for help; He gave Himself for others.
And..
You can follow in the footsteps of Christ the Great Teacher if you live your faith, you teach from knowledge, you relate faith to life’s experiences; you are willing to bea continual learner;
you teach with love, humility, commitment and sow His sed in the hearts of others”
There are 3 things I like to write today:
1) I thought that I have experienced a full up bus, but today I saw (not experienced) a bus FULL UP… I mean also its roof!
2) Here the houses are different from what we’re used to. They are small, with few rooms.
But the worst thing of all is that they are all situated at the edge of a gutter which serves as the drainage system
3) Here I am trying to learn their language but some kids think I know it already so they start speaking with me in Kannada…its’ so funny and sweet. I just follow their reactions and try to decipher what to say or do.
Tuesday 9th August 2005

Finally I had a good night sleep. Very restful. During the day I went to Alurhatti hospital with Bro because he had to take some TT injections. During the afternoon I spent 1.5hrs washing 3 t-shirts and a pair of trousers. Such a hard job washing with hands!! During these past days, kids have gone to their home as it is a Hindu feast so now there are only about 15 kids. Every evening we are dancing to Indian songs. Quite fun and the kids, including me, enjoy it a lot!!

Wednesday 10th August 2005

As for how I passed the day: it started with a talk with Fr Kuriakose – the boss and the mind behind this project. He seems to be happy with me. Then he was even happier when I told him that I want to become a benefactor of this house. Every kid costs them Rs600 (Lm6) per month and the government gives them Rs450 excluding the months of July and August. They try to get more income from the sale of the farm products but do not still have a fixed income. So, I will try my best to give them what I can.
Today I also gave some more English tuition during the morning. Although everyday during study time kids come and ask me about English pronunciation.
These kids’ possession lies in a metal box measuring 80cm x 40cm x 30cm only. The rest of their possessions are their beautiful black eyes with long eyelashes, a contagious smile and a generous heart. Who knows who really posses most, them or us? What they have can hardly be stolen away.
Today Fr. Kuriakose told me that some of the kids like Hanumanta, was (and is still) a bonded-child labour. A title instead of slave. His parents gave him away to a landlord to work for him in the fields for a number of years until the amount owed by his parents is paid in the form of his labour. There are other kids like this here. Luckily parents and kids agree to let the Salesians integrate their kids back into school.
The day ended with seeing a 15cm long black scorpion. It is scary!!

Thursday 11th August 2005

Today I-day rehearsal continued together with Bro Rojan’s birthday party rehearsals. Today I played football and I was quite good…I guess having a pair of sneakers instead of bare footed has its effect!! Slept late because I helped in decorating for Bro’s birthday.

Friday 12th August 2005

Today the kids started rehearsing for the Independence day.
The highlight of the day was the outing with Bro Rojan to Davangere. Left Sujyothi at 17:30 and with 2 kids (they were taking the milk) left with the bus. Arriving at Davangere, Bro left the umbrella on the bus. So the plans for watching a film at the cinema had to be cancelled because we had to walk (through the muddy streets) to go to the bus terminus. Luckily the umbrella was found. Then caught an auto rickshaw to Suprabha but stayed far because it was a secret outing. Then me and bro went to eat a “pizza” – or kind of!! Then ice-cream. It was an evening dedicated to Bro Rojan’s birthday. Left Davangere at 20:30 arriving back at Sujyothi at 21:00. It was a special evening.
Saturday 13th August 2005

Bro Rojan’s Birthday. So the highlight was the evening party. With cake, speeches, dances, songs, present. It was a pleasant evening for a wonderful person.

Sunday 14th August 2005

Again sickness struck me this time in the form of diarrhea. But life goes on. This morning went to Suprabha on a motorcycle. Quite an adventure although with an upset stomach the bumpy ride was not really helpful!! Mass at Suprabha, lunch then internet café and then back to Sujyothi by bus.

Monday 15th August 2005

Feat of St. Mary Assumption, Mario’s birthday and Independence Day in India. At Sujyothi we had the hoisting of the flag, puja in front of Gandhi’s picture, an Indian big map made out of coloured sand and Rangoli (special symbol) made out of sand in front of the gate. After that went to Suprabha…again by motorcycle. There special mass. Then in the evening special program. Kind of talent show by Sujyothi boys, Suprabha girls and children from the tuition program. After that special dinner and the holiday was over.

Tuesday 16th August 2005

Woke up at Suprabha. Relaxed day. Bro then took me to the cinema, before we stopped at camera film developing shop to developed my pics at Rs5 each only.
The cinema was like our previous Embassy. Interesting as mush as the Kannada film – as usual – comedy, drama, musical and fights all in one film. For the people watching it, was an escape from reality. After the film reality hit back with walking through the obstacle-full roads.
Between mud, water, drainage, cars, auto rickshaws, people, cows,…every walk is an adventure…not to mention the stares I get because of my skin colour!
Wednesday 17th August 2005

Kids are increasing in number. Today we had two kids who were missing home and were crying. Both escaped during the day, one was later found and brought again to Sujyothi. For them is difficult to appreciate school. The kids also here have a tendency to lack concentration. They forget quite easily, this may be due to malnutrition suffered prior to coming here and also from the psychological traumas they would have passed. As for their English learning which I’m trying to help, is full of difficulties. They do not associate the sound of the letters with the sound of the word and so they would try to learn phrases by heart rather then trying to recognize the separate word. In my lessons this is what I’m trying to change.
Thursday 18th August 2005

I think this was the worst day during this trip because of sickness. I had diarrhea and vomiting. Whole day in my room cursing myself and being utterly angry, even angry with God because all I had prayed was to give me health during my stay but it was the only thing I did not have.

Friday 19th August 2005

So after yesterday’s day-in-bed, today I woke up late, and I can say that now I’m feeling better – although not 100% and very scared of food. Today I learnt is “sister’s day” where women give a bracelet (called raki) to those who consider their brothers. In fact I received 3 bracelets. One from Ms. Noorfatma and 2 from Goroma together with a “tikka”.
Kids all love me and I feel they really lack affection because all the time they are hugging me and shaking hands. Some of the kids become possessive over me, they want me for them only. This is difficult for me because on one side I don’t want to hurt them but on the other I have to show my love to everyone.

Saturday 20th August 2005

Today the Regional (of south Asia) visited Sujyothi. He’s the “Salesian Rector Major” of this region. We had prepared the house plus a few items of dances and songs. He gave a speech in which something struck me – “Don Bosco was also a child labour”. After the visitation I went with them to Suprabha where I spent the evening there. In the evening, me and the brothers went to watch a Hindi film in the cinema. The film was “The Rising”.

Sunday 21st August 2005

In the morning I had the weekly call from home. Then after lunch we left to go to the city to buy some things, and internet and I had to go to listen to an English mass at the Parish Church…but the worse happened. During the internet I had an attack of diarrhea, so I changed plans and went back (I saw the whole passion and I was sweating) to Suprabha. There I stayed the night.

Monday 22nd August 2005

Relaxed day. Had the chance to say good bye to the teachers in Suprabha as now my journey in India has come to my last week. During this weekend I had the chance to get to know better Bro Christuraj.
In the evening, I left with the Father to come to Sujyothi (my home). Along the way he had to do some shopping...and my skin colour has created the now “normal” havoc. Stares, children flocking to talk to me and asking…my name, my country, my father, mother, brother and also sister’s name!!
In the evening I met with Fr Joy to discuss how I can help financially.

Tuesday 23rd August 2005

Today I went to the government school in Alurhatti and to the hostel where some ex Don Bosco Child Labour Mission boys are now staying. Today I started doing the thank you cards. In the evening I gave the “good night” thought to the kids. I made it on the meaning of brother. Promising them that I will always be their brother and that I will pray for them each and every day. I also managed to get permission for me and Bro for tomorrow’s day out.

Wednesday 24th August 2005

DAY OUT. Left Sujyothi at 10:30 am and had to go to Davangere first. There I withdrew some cash. Then bought some books and charts for the kids. Had to go to Suprabha to leave the things there and get my camera which I had borrowed to Bro Christuraj. There we had lunch. After that went to the train station to buy my train ticket for Sunday to go to Bangalore. There I had again the experience of an Indian queue i.e. no queue at all and he who is last comes first!! After that we got a bus to go to another city – Harya. There we went to visit the church which has a miraculous statue of St Mary of Health. After that we went to the river side…not much to see but!! We then left again for Davangere to do my shopping of gifts. I also had a haircut, managed to do some bargains on things I bought. Back on the bus...full up to the brim, to get back to Sujyothi. To make the day more perfect, Fr Joy was really happy that I bought tooth brushes for the kids. And during the good night thought to the kids he really praised me in Kannada and the kids gave me an applause which made me emotional. Yes, I got to love these kids and it will be really hard for met to part from them. Kids are already showing signs of sadness that I am leaving.
Friday 26th August 2005

Today I packed the gifts for the teachers, and Salesian community which I had bought yesterday. I also started washing the clothes, much of which I will be giving to brother.
Today I had a couple of phone calls, one from Silvano and the other from my big friend from the Philippines. Today I started taking some photos with the kids, including them sleeping and eating.

Thursday 25th August 2005

My last full day at Sujyothi. This day started with a pleasant view of all the children finally brushing their teeth with a toothbrush and not with their fingers. In this past week the weather changed again into warm tropical days.
Today also started the “last”s. Last dinner, last goodnight, last dancing, last night. Not easy leaving here and at the same time I wish that the coming 4 days pass quickly because of all the hassles in traveling.
The kids don’t want me to leave, it is difficult for me to explain to them that I have to leave.

Saturday 27th August 2005

Day started as everyday with prayers and mass. These morning and night prayers together with the daily Rosary gave me the strength to accept the crosses that I have faced throughout these days because “His cross is light”. Today, as yesterday, the mass was dedicated to me. After mass I had an evaluation with Fr Joy. He said that him and Fr Kuriakose are really happy of me and that though I don’t have any extraordinary talent, I have the talent of dealing with humanity. But I think that these kids still make you be more humane and more down to earth. Today I am also a bit sick, something in my chest (same as kids have). So tonight after the farewell party I should be going to the doctor.
In the afternoon a special program was set up by the kids in my honour. They sung, danced, sketches, party songs and speeches by Suman in English (which made my cry), Hanumantha in Kannada, then Fr. Kuriakose who said that I have a loving presence and that I was an example to them. Then I made my speech. After that distribution of cake and sweets, then the painful goodbyes. The most painful one being the goodbye to Nagaraj. He truly became my younger brother.
Left Suprabha, and after some time left for the doctor. And he said I have a chest infection. The result was that I had to buy some antibiotics.
Then at 8:30pm we – me, Bros and Frs left for dinner in a hotel. The food was excellent and also the atmosphere. This day was very emotional because it is hard to leave those kids whom they really don’t want me to leave.

Sunday 28th August 2005

My last day in Davangere. As usual a Sunday mass followed by my last lunch in this town. I had a short evaluation with Fr Kuriakose who wants me to come again. The at 3:00pm left with Fr Joy and Bro Rojan to the train station. Bro Rojan has really been a real brother to me and I will never forget him.
The train should have come at 15:25 but arrived at 16:05. then to make it worse at 17:30 it hit a buffalo so we stopped for half an hour. The train still managed to arrive only 15 mins late…and this is when the start of a misadventure started.
So, I had to walk with the luggage (which still felt heavy even though I left almost all my clothes at Sujyothi as a gift), from the back of the railway station to the front entrance. Then I had to find the prepaid auto rickshaws. The official ones because I met people who were claiming to be prepaid but their rates were 5 times as much. Found the official ones and it had to cost me Rs45. To start making things bad, this stupid auto rickshaw mullah did not know where my address is. So he had to stop to ask and then he stopped me somewhere saying that it was North Road (the road I would be staying). Then he asked for Rs100 instead of Rs45!!! I did not accept and then he asked for Rs46 and started shouting so I gave him as much not to create any problems. Went down the auto and went into the road which supposedly was north Road but soon found out it was not. So I asked a gentlemen who was walking to tell me where North Rd was and that I wanted to go to Don Bosco. He was a true Samaritan and an angel sent by God. He was a Christian, knew where Malta was and most importantly knew where North Road was. It was like 30 minutes walk away!! On the way he helped me with my luggage. God bless this man. Arrived at Don Bosco, with a worse chest infection, I cooled and calmed down a bit...and then left for dinner in a nearby restaurant. The food was good and the people really nice.
Quite a full day!! Lets’ see tomorrow.

Monday 29th August 2005

Today had breakfast at the Provinciat, then afterwards met Fr George Matthews and Raji. We made a short evaluation. Then I took the day relaxed because I wanted to regain my health for tomorrow’s voyages. So in the evening I just went to the internet café down the road.

Tuesday 30th August 2005

My last day in India…the 46th day. How quickly they passed.

The day:
After breakfast got my back pack and started my stroll in Bangalore. Caught a bus to Shaviji Nagar. From there I went to a park, then down MG Road (full of shops), then Trinity church, Ulsoor lake, and back to North Road. A total of 4 hours walk almost 3km.

Bangalore: a city where you find a lake and a garden amidst the bustling traffic. Poverty and beggars among Hi-tech companies.

Back to North Road, just a couple of hours and left for the airport.

First flight: Jet Airways Bangalore-Delhi. Jet Airways are very good...efficient and friendly. Then 4 hours in Delhi airport and then at 03:50am left India.

The plane has just took off and I can’t hold my tears. It breaks my heart that I’m leaving this land with the kids I have met. I pray to God to bless them all and give them a better future, better then the past they had. A future where they truly are free. Where they can enjoy and appreciate their rights and their dignity as children and as human beings. I pray God also for those millions of kids who are still child labours in India and throughout the world.I pray to God for myself. To never forget the lessons and the values I have learnt in this short stay. This land really gave me much more then I gave here.
A land where I found generosity in poverty; simplicity in a complicated world; innocence even in children who had to grow up; smiles in kids who have experience enough to cry. A land of contrast… a land of colours, blending with the darkness of plagues of social injustice; a land of respectful gestures, and yet lack respect to children; a land of hi-tech and poverty; A land which will remain in my heart forever. And the kids: I am sure that I will never never forget them. I have carved their smiles, their eyes, their hugs, their handshakes, in my heart.
I love each one of them. God bless them forever.
I love my India.