I've been back just over 2 weeks now and life has been a little different since my return, I have had emotional highs and emotional lows, fairly bizarre in the first week back, for example I was driving along, singing to the radio as I often do and suddenly, BANG, I was overwhelmed with emotion when I thought about the kids I had met in India, their innocent faces, the lives they lead (full of joy and yet full of horror),I had to fight back the tears. I guess it is difficult for any caring person to see what we all saw in such a short period of time not to have some form of emotional hangover and the WaterAid staff had warned us that there is likely to be a period of cultural readjustment when we got back to the UK.
So on with the productivity... So I am back in the UK for just 4 days and I am off to the BBC Radio Suffolk studio in Ipswich to talk about the trip to India and my learnings whilst out there. I was on air with the lovely Lesley Dolphin, I arrived and was immediately set at ease with a cup of coffee and a warm smile. We chatted for around 40 minutes and I managed to cover so much and yet so little all at the same time, I loved it, it was great knowing listeners would be learning about WaterAid and the important work they do... It's not hard when you have seen the statistics change from numbers to real people to then talk with a passion about the work that needs to the done and is being carried out.
My mind is full of the facts, I recently watched the amazing film "Mary and Matha" on BBC 2 (BBC iplayer - Mary & Martha) about the impact of malaria in Africa commissioned for Comic Relief, the message was powerful and again being in a heightened emotional state I found myself shedding even more tears, must remind myself it's just my body shifting excess salt water. They talked of how many children die from malaria each year, the numbers were shocking, in-fact more than that, they were devastating, then my brain remembered the statistics I had seen from WaterAid, more children die each year from preventable water related diseases than malaria, measles and AIDS combined. I am not raising this because I don't wish for people to support Comic Relief , in fact please do, I have donated my £10 via text, this can buy 2 mosquito nets and save lives! I would encourage others to do the same. If you're in the UK you can text "FIVE" or “TEN” to 70510 to donate £5 or £10. The reason I raise my point is that it upsets me that more children die through water related diseases and yet so few people are aware of it, if I asked you about famine, malaria, AIDS, swine flu, bird flu etc, you could probably tell me that you have seen and/or heard stories in the papers, on the tv news or on the radio in the last few years, publicising the issue and yet, if I asked you have you seen an article or watched news footage about children dying from water related diseases? would you be able to say yes with such ease... Some may, but for the majority I know would say no.
So I am on a mission to raise awareness of this serious issue, to save lives, to give people a chance, I invite you to join me by simply publicising the issues, checking out the WaterAid website (WaterAid.org), donating a few pounds, sharing this blog, tweeting, holding breakfast mornings to raise money and support, or anything else you can think of... No matter how big or small, help me help others to live, grow up and welcome a future!
So what else have I been up to, well I presented to the Essex & Suffolk Water staff about my trip, I enjoyed sharing the story of Ramu, Ramvati, AmarSign & Budh, all of which appear in my blog and I am pleased to say that I feel that people listened, they were moved and they want to do more... I really feel that I am getting the message out there and for that I feel very proud.
Next I am off to School, I am presenting to over 50, 10 year old children, going to making it very interactive and fun for them... Really looking forward to it. I am hoping to get a couple of slots on the regional TV stations to share my message and if anyone out there can help take this further I would love to hear from you... Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
So to wrap up this update; Life has changed for the better for me and as the days go by I accept more and more that I/we can all make a difference, my emotions stabilise more and more but my passion grows and my determination to make a difference becomes stronger... I will also be transferring my blog to a Kindle book over the coming months as I figured it may just make a few pounds for WaterAid.
Take care all