As Christmas approaches here in the UK, I have been thinking of the International Friendship part of my aim for my trip. Whilst my life has not been quite as international as some of the I-Housers I have already met, I have been very fortunate to have worked and lived in a number of different parts of the world.
My trip is an opportunity to connect with new I-House international friends, but is also allowing me to meet up with old friends too. I love my friends here in the UK, but there is something really special about meeting up with friends in other countries, it nearly always involves new experiences. By reaching out and catching up with friends on my travels I can honestly say I have had some of the most enriching times of my life and I hope have bought something to their lives too.
About three years ago I went on a trip to China with an organisation called Leaders Quest who create amazing leadership quests for NGO and business participants and I met Ashok Rathod, founder of Oscar Foundation http://www.oscar-foundation.org in Mumbai India. They work with children from slum communities changing lives through football and education. Three years on this encounter has bought me so many new things and friendships, as I am a trustee of the UK side of the charity. The feet in the picture are kids from our Jharkhand project.
My Christmas request for anyone taking the time to read this is to remember your I-House friends and to reach out and say hello to them and whenever you are travelling and have a spare evening, breakfast or lunch slot, why not spend it with someone you have not seen for a while and ‘pass the light on’.
Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas.