She never lets you go
I think it was the very first time that I was leaving India to come back to Ireland that it hit me hardest. I could feel the little faces of those tiny children staring up at me as my flight departed that blood red soil - I was the fortunate one in that I could leave and go home - SO, that's why I frequently travel back now and try to do my best for the little children I help. My husband, myself and our solicitor run a very small registered Irish Charity and we help the Mercy Home in Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu. They have, to date, 245 handicapped kids there and I'm returning in three weeks to spend five months teaching computer skills and English. Wish me luck! I'm going to travel around a little this time...something I didn't do the other times I've been. I spent time in Pondicherry which was quite nice - only, the French that Pondy people are supposed to have did not materialise at all in the five weeks I spent there ! Still, English and a little learned Tamil, made life very pleasant. Pondy is a very lovely place and I understand that now they have reclaimed back some of their beach that was washed away by a tidal wave some years back, that it's even more appealing! Maybe I'll visit again this time, who knows!. I will go to Kerala for a couple of weeks - maybe take some of the kids with me, that'll be grand altogether. Last minute bits now to organise, like my visa and then a few farewell dinners etc...
I'd be interested to talk with anyone at all who has visited Salem, Dharmapuri, Bangalore, and parts of Kerala - it'd be great to meet people there also, perhaps for coffee or the occassional wonderful Indian Pizza!
No matter how I tried, when I returned from India that very first time, I could not get her out of my mind - she invaded my dreams and every waking moment too. She grabs you and doesn't let go. She is truly a magnificent country and her people need all the love and help that we as travellers can give them, but most of all they need our respect.