Edwards travels to India
Friday 4 February
Today was a very hectic day at River Leen school, all the student council came and in the afternoon there was lots of excitement because everyone was counting money! Karli told me that they have been collecting to sponsor a child in India (that sounds a long way away), her name in Naga Mani and she has not got any parents. Karli told me that I am going with Mrs Abbott to see Naga Mani. I didn’t think that could be true but in the evening Mrs Abbott took me home with her and was very busy packing suitcases.
Saturday 5 February
This morning we got in a car. I sat in the back with Mrs Abbott, her son was driving us to the airport, he drives very fast and Mr Abbott kept telling him to slow down. I rather liked going fast but Mrs Abbott seemed quite nervous. We had lots of nice hugs and she told me all about the adventure I was going on with her. I am going to see Naga Mani and lots of other children in India. How exciting!
Monday 7 February
What an amazing time I am having. I flew in a big aeroplane for a very long time, we loved it, the air hostess was very nice and bought round hot towels to freshen up. I didn’t use mine in case my fur didn’t dry. I had a very nice lunch but had to stay awake for a very long time so when we arrived at the hotel I had to stay in the room and rest. I had a good view of a big city in India called Hyderabad from the window. There were lots and lots of cars and lorries, bicycles, motor bikes and some little yellow vehicles which Mrs Abbott said are called auto rickshaws. There are lots of people going by and it’s all very interesting.
Wednesday 9 February
Today I went on another adventure. I have rested in the hotel room for two days as Mrs Abbott said I had a very important job at the end of the week and I needed to rest in preparation. I went on a train, it was a long train probably about 20 carriages all full of people. I was a bit nervous so Mrs Abbott let me stay in her bag but I did peep out the window to see some flooded fields where rice was growing and people carrying large baskets on their head – I have never seen that before.
Saturday 12 February
I have got a very important job. Mr and Mrs Abbott have come to India to visit some children they sponsor, Radhika and Hema and also Naga Mani. The children live in a village specially set up for children who have lost their parents. I was a bit worried about meeting them but Mrs Abbott said my only job was to listen to them and hug them! Mrs Abbott showed the children how to hug me and soon I was being hugged by lots and lots of lovely children. They were speaking in a language called Telegu but being a very special bear I could understand them. At first I stayed near Mrs Abbott but the children loved me so much they wanted to take me to look round their homes so I went with them. They showed me their dining room; no tables or chairs, they all sit on the floor in rows and eat with their right hand (no cutlery) – they are all vegetarians here, that means they don’t eat meat. They really love hugging me and talking to me now and I love it!
What clever children, now they can say lots of the parts of my body in English and they are teaching me how to count in Telegu. The older children speak very good English, they told me that they study for many hours each day, school is 9.30 to 4.30 and then they do homework from 6pm to 10pm at night. Today Mr and Mrs Abbott are organising games as they have bought the children lots of bats, balls, racquets, skipping ropes and board games. What fun we are having.
Best of all I have met Naga Mani, she loved the photographs and letters from the children in Bulwell. She has given me and Mr and Mrs Abbott lots of hugs although we were very sad when we found out that even though she is only seven before she came to the village she was a maid in a big house. I am glad she looks happy now. Mrs Abbott told me lots of children here are forced to go to work when they are very young.
Monday 14 February
Today we had to leave the village, I wanted to stay but Mrs Abbott said I had done my important job listening to the children and giving them lots of hugs now I have to go back to tell the children in Bulwell all about my experiences. I have had lots of photographs taken and Mrs Abbott and I asked the children to write about ‘A day in our life’. We will be able to give this to the children back in the Zone so I am looking forward to that. We had a very long journey back on the train to Hyderabad so after that I stayed in our room and looked out of the window. Soon we will be going on the aeroplane again and I am looking forward to seeing Mrs McKinnon.
Saturday 19 February
Yesterday we got back to England, I had an amazing time although it was a bit hot with all my fur. Today Mrs Scott, Mrs Habgood and Mrs McKinnon came to Mrs Abbott’s house. I couldn’t get a word in to tell them about our trip because Mrs Abbott wouldn’t stop talking! Mrs McKinnon took me home with her so I had lots of time to talk to her and Mr McKinnon. I am very tired. Who would have thought it me, a little bear from Bulwell, going all that way to make children who have no parents happy. That has made me really happy!