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Sunday, 24 March 2013

500 Posts and Still Here!!

As you can see from the title, this is my 500th Post!  I wanted to make it a little bit special to celebrate the occasion, so I've  invited a special Guest Blogger along to entertain you today!  (Well, she is very special to ME!!).

I would like to introduce you to my number one granddaughter, Eleanor, who has kindly agreed to write a few words about her recent trip to India.

"Hallo to all Grandma's Bloggy Friends.  The following photo is when we all gathered together at Gare du Nord train station enroute to Charles de Gaulle  Airport in Paris, at 4 a.m. in the morning (NOT the best time for me!!). I had been SO excited about our trip for weeks, and could hardly believe that we were actually on our way!

After leaving the luxury of Bombay behind on our first night in India, we flew to Indore.  We stayed at Daly College for the week - a beautiful school with a huge campus and many activities for us to participate in.

Although I would have loved to have stayed there during the day, we had much more important things to do.   At the crack of dawn each morning (5 a.m.) we all got up and began work.  The first couple of days involved walking through the slums and telling as many people as possible about our Project : ICU2.

My school has been organizing this Project every year since 2005.  It involves us giving free eye tests, glasses, and cataract operations to anyone who needs them.  We set up our tent and four, long, intense days followed in which we screened over 6,571 people, gave out 5,37l pairs of glasses  and 300 cataract operations were carried out.  

We had set a new record! We were all very proud of ourselves and I can safely say that it was the most rewarding experience of my life so far.  It was very hard to say goodbye to all the extraordinary people I had met during that week, but more unforgettable experiences were awaiting me in Mumbai.

We flew back and met up with the Exchange Students who we will be playing host to when they come to Paris next week.  During that weekend, we were able to form a bond with our correspondents as we worked on building the foundations of a school in a small, rural village, an hour outside Mumbai.  We really got to know each other better and and my correspondent and I got on very well.

It was very hot all the time we were there, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees!

After we had finished in the village, I spent the next few days in Rhea's apartment.  This was when we saw a very striking contrast between the different classes in India.  In Indore, we had seen the very poor, but now, in Mumbai, our hosts were in a different league again.  They had Housekeepers to tend to their every need, and drivers who would take them everywhere.  It was a very surreal experience for me, and not one that I particularly enjoyed.  Even though everyone at the Ambani School were very nice, we had seen so much poverty the week before, that it was very hard for us to take in how they treated the people who worked for them.  These people were just so thankful to have a job, but I could not help but feeling a little bitter.  

Overall, the trip has made a lasting impression on me (one that I am sure I will never forget) and I very much look forward to putting these experiences to good use in later life.  There were so many photos, but here is a little collage which I hope you will enjoy.  Thank you!"

Well my friends, I do hope that you enjoyed Eleanor's guest post.  You can see why I'm so proud of her, can't you?!  After they arrived back, all the parents involved received an e -mail from their School Principal and he said "throughout these two weeks, I witnessed the creation of a team, and a family.  All of us accompanying staff members were immensely proud of the way our group acted, both in work and play, and would like to thank you all for being such polite, respectful, engaged and mature students and travellers.  You made our job easy!"

Thank you so much for doing this Eleanor.  It is such a privilege to see how you have become such a caring, thoughtful and beautiful young woman.

 Well my friends, I will see you again soon, and here's to the next 500 Posts - Gulp!!


Claudia Moser said...

What an amazing person Eleanor is, I understand why you are so proud of her. I can fully relate to her writings, India was for me also a humble experience.
Happy for your milestone, I am approaching the 1000th and I am also rather puzzled how come I managed that :)
Happy Sunday my dear

Kerrie said...

Thank you small monkey for sharing! I loved reading all about your amazing experience and the valuable contribution your school makes with such a wonderful project. What a wonderful difference you have all made to so many people's lives. God bless you.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hallo, dear Thisisme, and congratulations on reaching this wonderful milestone, your 500th blog post! What better way to celebrate the occasion than to introduce your lovely granddaughter Eleanor as guest blogger?

By now I feel like I know Eleanor. She seems like a member of my own family as do you, Diane. I remember you telling me recently that Eleanor is the kind of person who would approach me and give me a warm welcome, a smile and a hug if I walked into a room and met her for the first time. I can tell by looking at these pictures of Eleanor and her group and by reading her account of their recent trip to India that they are all outstanding young citizens of the world - caring, compassionate, altruistic, benevolent, hard working, self sacrificing and actively involved in being part of the solution. Eleanor and her friends are the kind of people our world desperately needs and you and Emma helped shape her into the fine person she has become. How proud you must be of her!

It is a pleasure to "meet" you, dear friend Eleanor. Thank you for being who and what you are. To you, dear friend Thisisme, I say the same. Thank you for 500 posts in which you shared your positive energy, offered inspiring words and images and exercised your keen sense of humor. Thank you for spreading sunshine around a world filled with darkness. Thank you, dear Diane, for being everything a blogger should be and everything a friend should be. Hugs and smooches to you, dear Thisisme, and onward and upward to the next 500!

Kerrie said...

Love to you Dianne, and congratulations on reaching five-hundred blog posts - You're awesome!!! :] Hope you have a happy week.

Carol E Wyer said...

What a fabulous post and yes, Eleanor is incredible. I was completely blown away not only by her maturity but with what these young people are doing.
You have every right to be incredibly proud.
So glad you posted this.

Odie Langley said...

Well my sweet friend congratulations on this milestone of a post and this is one that will be so very hard to top forever. Over the last couple of years I feel I have really got to know Eleanor through your writings and have been so proud of her for being the awesome and beautiful person she is. Her beauty is not just on the outside as the people she met on this trip surely know. I am sure she will be seeing these comments so Eleanor please know how proud this 66 year old man is of you and I cannot say that enough and I will be sharing this special blog post with my friends and family. Dianne you could not have chosen a better person to be a guest on here today and have surely made my day.

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

Congratulations on the 500th blog post!

It was lovely to read of Eleanor's volunteer work in India, which reminded me of mine in Singapore and Malaysia. I'm sure it was a great learning and growing experience for her.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

A great honour to read Eleanor's blog post .. how fascinating too. Well done Eleanor , you did your grandma proud :-) xx

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Oh yes Diane, congratulations on your 500th post too and what a way to celebrate :-)

Jennifer Hoppins said...

Eleanor, you write with sparkling imagery and your photographs pull emotion to the surface. How brave you are to travel to India to help people in need. Class difference is disturbing and you've shown that contrast very clearly here. It would have troubled my heart to know that people who have less are treated disrespectfully. Which makes what you and your fellow students did a FANTASTIC and wonderful act of kindness. "Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end" ~Scott Adams

Empty Nester said...

Diane- I can't imagine a better way to celebrate your 500th post! I have so much enjoyed getting to 'know' your lovely family via your blog and facebook. It's obvious that Eleanor has her grandmother's heart!

Eleanor- What an amazing young woman you are! And such a wonderful opportunity for you. Your photos were great and so revealing. I like the picture of the two women sitting there in the midst of their surroundings and yet, have smiles on their faces. It speaks volumes. If any of you ever get the opportunity to come to Charleston, SC, y'all have a place to stay right here with us!

Shelly said...

Eleanor, you write in such a way that your reader is allowed to go on your journey with you, and that is not easy to do. I hope you will continue not only your wonderful efforts towards those who are needy, but also in the writing arena. Thank you for sharing with us!

And, my friend thisisme, congratulations on your 500th post! This is a consistently positive, warm, and beautiful place to visit in our blogging world, and I completely enjoy each visit! Yes, here's to the next 500!

Glenda Manus said...

Diane- When you said you were having a guest post, I couldn't imagine who it would be - maybe a fellow blogger, writer or celebrity? Turns out I was right on all three guesses. Eleanor, I love your writing style. You should create your own blog to chronicle this wonderful and generous program your school is doing.

And yes - you are a celebrity. Or at least you are to your Grandmother's bloggy friends and to the recipients of your kind gestures in India. To quote another person of great kindness, Mother Teresa whose home was India - "Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway". Your school is doing just that, and I am thankful for people like all of you for trying to improve the quality of life for the poor in the world.

Bravo dear Eleanor! And Bravo to you Diane - you who must be so proud of such a kind and beautiful granddaughter.

Yamada Miyako said...

Dearest Diane,
Oh, I wish I could read your precious daughter's post today. As I'm not free until late evening tomorrow, I will read this post taking time and come back, my friend.
Night Night just for now from Japan♡♡♡
Love and hugs, xoxo Miyako*

Suzanne Prickett said...

Hello Eleanor, what an exciting trip this must have been. It is my understanding that the cultures and conditions do vary from city to city in India. There is beauty in one area and devastation in another.

But, your focus was to remain strong for your cause, and, my goodness-what you all did for those almost 6,000 people is beyond amazing! And, you're right in saying that somewhere later in life you will recall this event in a positive will smile as you look back. I love your photos, and I am proud for you. I'll bet you choose to do this again. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

* Thisisme-I don't blame you one bit for being the proudest Grandmother ever! Eleanor is a delightful, beautiful and just great girl! And, cheers to you on your 500th post! Your blog has been a joy to read and be a part of! Thank you so much for your wonderful stories and photos-another 500 on the way? See you soon. Hugs to you!♥

Olive said...

Good job Eleanor. Eye care is a good service opportunity for sure. I know you are proud of her Diane.

Bouncin Barb said... I'm sure you already know, your "awesome" Grandma is a very good friend to me. I just adore her and feel like I know you and your wonderful family. I'm so thrilled that her 500th post is written by you and that you shared this amazing trip with us. I had no idea as to the extent of what you provided to the people over there and that is huge. Not only did you get to travel the globe, but got to see different cultures. Traveling is what makes the best memories of our lives I say. Keep up the great work as a student and as the best #1 Granddaughter! Hugs.

Grammy Goodwill said...

Eleanor, you are a writer as well as a philanthropist. Thank you for sharing your trip and good works with us. Your insights shamed me, sitting in my comfortable house with heat and food and water. We have so much.
Congratulations also to your grandmother for this 500th post.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Wow I really can see why you are so proud of her she is amazing and comes across as being so caring...reading this made me think of my niece Kirsty........who is also amazing just like your wonderful granddaughter

Sush said...

Eleanor...your post was a joy to read and a reminder of how much good there is in the world. Young people like yourself who can give OF themselves with joy and love are what make the future seem so bright. We need more kind and wise souls like you and your friends to remind us all what we all need to do. Love one another and be reminded each day that their but for the Grace of God go I. the saying goes...the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. You and Emma are shining examples of kindness, love and service to others. Your family of women are what will help keep this world a joyful and kind place for us all.
Congratulations on your 500th and on helping influence another generation with your generosity and love.

Yamada Miyako said...

Dearest Eleanor,
Wow, how amazing it must have been for you to have had these precious surreal experience (which you expressed)☆☆☆ Great achievement for their eye trouble and observing the schools. I can easily guess how your mother is SO proud of you♡♡♡  I'm sure these are the most treasurable experiences through your life. I loved to see the wonderful Daly College but I was SO impressed with the sweet children in the 4th picture.

Dearest Diane,
Oh, I loved the idiom Sush brought up; and you are the mother who brought her up(^_^)彡☆ Felt SO sweet to read what you wrote "It is such a privilege to see how you have become such a caring, thoughtful and beautiful young woman." Oh, you ARE the proud mother, my friend♡♡♡

Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan to the wonderful mother and daughter, xoxo Miyako*

Knitty said...

Congratulations on your milestone post and for having such a wonderful granddaughter in your life!

I have no idea what my post count is but I don't think my grandson will be a guest contributor anytime soon. I would have to translate some of his words as I type and most of you probably don't want to hear about Thomas, Percy and the other engines that fascinate a 3 year old boy. ;-)

Belle said...

Congratulations on your 500th post! It has been so wonderful getting to know you and your family.

Thanks, Eleanor for the photos and writings about your trip to India. You all did a kind and blessed thing for the poor of India. Wonderful! I can understand why you felt bad about how the rich treated the poor. This is something that should not happen, but unfortunately it does in this world. All we can do is decide to treat everyone in a loving way ourselves. God bless.

Rosemary Nickerson said...

Diane! Your granddaughter is like you--caring and kind. Reading her post brought tears to my eyes. That one so young selflessly gives time and hard work to strangers in need is testament to the good parenting you and your children are passing on to the next generation. Very well done. I loved seeing the photos of India. Thank you, Eleanor.

Pearson Report said...

Dear Eleanor - I want to thank you for sharing this engaging and thoroughly intriguing adventure here at your grandmother's blog.

I can see how proud she is of you and rightly so, you are one very caring, kind, thoughtful and compassionate young woman.

I wish you continued success with your schooling and subsequent adventures.

With happy thoughts, Jenny


Dear Diane,

Well, my dear friend, look at you - 500! My, my, you're blog is just humming along and with such great posts no wonder why.

Congratulations for have your lovely, and talented, granddaughter, Eleanor, here as you special guest.

She was worth waiting for and reading. Delightful!

Hugs, Jenny

SkippyMom said...

Amazing. Truly amazing. Congratulations to your wonderful granddaughter, her parents and you.

What a beautiful gift she is. Hugs!

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