No… I haven’t won the lotto yet! Hell… I haven’t even gotten over my leg pain or my loneliness… but I know I am lucky!
Last night was chatting with someone about facebook posts on Syria and middle east… and planes and money… and guess what? I had so much experience to share.
There are many women in my country who travel out for work and for pleasure. But how many of them have got experiences like me? I have travelled in India and around the world, with family, friends and alone, for work and for pleasure and have stepped out beyond just the home and work to make friends from across the globe. I worked and I volunteered. I met people, I listened to stories.
Today I can tell my children about planes, about planes owned by rich kings that I have seen, about people like Sir Richard Branson, about funny stories of Concorde all because I worked at the hangars, a place that I loved to work in because I loved planes. If I considered it just a job, I would have locked myself up in the server room but that was not the case… I would walk around, meeting people, talking to them, making friends and listening to stories, getting on the planes, walking into the baggage hold, the cockpit, the landing gear and today my life is filled with so many rich experiences that I can talk about. I worked for an aircraft engine manufacturer too…. that was another different experience altogether.
Special Olympics – it is 12 years and three more world games later, I am still friends with many people that I met then. I still want to be associated with it. I have such amazing memories of it that I want my children to feel it too. But Special Olympics is not the only one that I volunteered for. I was with different charities at different times and I have done different things too. Today I can proudly tell my children how I have stood on the streets on a cold spring morning collecting money for a AIDS charity!
And I worked that bit extra, not because I needed the money, but because I felt the need to do something more! I’ve worked with asylum seekers interpreting and translating for them. I ‘ve come back crying because I could do nothing for them. In the process, I ended up becoming “akka” (big sister) for many Srilankan brothers and sisters in Dublin. I ‘ve learnt their stories and heard their secrets. Today when I talk with my children about Syria, I can tell them a lot of things about refugees, things that papers don’t tell, because I ‘ve seen it from the other side, from the side of refugees too!
I can proudly say I am lucky to have friends from more than a dozen countries, people speaking different languages, people living in different parts of the world, from Afghanistan to America, people with different views and I am rich with all the experience that I have got from all these people and more! I’ve also traveled to more than 20+ countries. I’ve been lucky to have great friends who guide me … and have read some lovely books…. lived in three different countries, have had the opportunity to observe so many different cultures…. I might not have the very best in everything but I do have a very rich life!