Thank you all at Global Volunteers so very much. I had a wonderful time serving in Chennai again this year. I have Stephen and Sheeba and the Hosts to thank for my experience. Stephen is a most remarkable, patient, generous, kind and wise man. He and Sheeba care very deeply for the children and all the people who host the volunteers and help them to do their work. I am again so impressed. I think of Stephen and Sheeba and Stephen’s whole family as my “Indian” family! I was so sad to say good-bye to his parents and neighbors and relatives. We have become so close.

I also am grateful to Stephen and Sr. Rose for making a dream come true: together they worked for three months to locate a little boy I met last year at Assisi….Augustine. Stephen helped me make arrangements so that I could go see him and play with him again. Holding him has been my biggest wish of the past year and I feel that now I have established a connection with his family that we can stay in touch.

There were so many wonderful moments; children who have hearts as big as the country itself….love to play and sing and be held….they even loved just touching my arms and smelling my hair. From lives that could be about sadness – these are remarkable, resilient children.
They have so much to teach about true meaning in life. I am grateful to them for the lessons I learned. You get out of the experience – what you put into it. For me, personally, I go, give, and get back 100-fold.

~Joelle Imholte

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