There are no words to describe the feeling of going home to where you were born. I will try my best. My back story was that I am an orphan who Pauline King took in and arranged my adoption in the United States. This was my first time going to India and my first time returning to Family Village Farm.
The warmth and welcoming was amazing and heartwarming. They welcome you with open arms and hearts. There is this feeling from the first day that you are part of their community. They work very hard to make sure all your needs are met. The staff is attentive and makes sure all your needs are met. During the second week, I became very sick and they really took care of me, which was comforting when you're in a foreign country far away from home and your doctors. Because of the love of the woman and the grandmothers, I knew I was in great care.
Amazing Kids!! From the moment I met them, it was instant love. From the nursery kids all the way up to the teenagers. I strongly suggest you take time and bond with the children - it is the most rewarding experience. As much love as you give to them, it comes back to you ten times over, and I will carry their love with me always and until I see them again. They are the happiest, well taken care of children. They have this amazing extended family: brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents. I was so proud to see how the older kids help the younger kids. One of my favorite memories is playing basketball and soccer with the teenagers. Jump in and play a game of badminton with the girls.
Someone had given me great advice (who had traveled to Family Village Farm) “Be in the moment and experience everything that is offered to you.”
I tried not to miss out on anything. Whether it was cooking in the kitchen learning Indian dishes and the language to playing musical chairs on Alumni Day. Take the time to be with the kids, whether it’s reading them a book, or swinging on the swings with them. They are very curious and have lots of questions- they enjoy learning about our culture as well. They love music and dance, sports, arts and socializing.
As a photographer, it’s pretty important to bond with people, before you take their photos. That was a goal that was easily reached. Enabling me to get even more personal photos, based on the trust that I had established with them. I got to capture the true people in their essence and not just a fake image.
India is an amazing country and the people are some of the best I have ever met in my life. Go and volunteer!!! I promise you will not be disappointed. The memories I made are going to last my lifetime.