Nine days ago we set off to India on a mission to shoot an adventure film with a group of kids aged 3 to 15 at a care home in Jaipur.
We travelled the 6,000 miles from home not knowing whether all the things that were on our “c**p that could go wrong” list would go against us. Working with 40 people to shoot a story that the director has never heard of, in just 5 days is hard at the best of times. Let alone when it is 40 children, in 45 degree heat and in a foreign language.
Thursday 9th May and our last day in India. Booo!!
Today we spent some time checking out the local palaces and forts of Jaipur with Naren, one of the brilliant employees of Arms Around the Child, who guided us around the pink city.
We saw some cool old places, including locations from the movie –The Fall. We also watched a snake charmer, who ironically wasn’t very charming and chased us for money. It was a good day but we were all missing the kids and home.
What a rollercoaster day! We’ve just arrived back from the Faith care home having shot the final few scenes of the adventure film with the kids. There were lots of tears, we knew after the first day it would be hard saying goodbye, we just didn’t think it would be this hard.
We barely said a word on the drive back to the hotel which summed up how attached we have all gotten with the kids and everyone at Faith.
We arrived at around 11am and got straight into shooting some final jungle and classroom scenes. The film was a wrap by mid afternoon which meant it was dance time!
“It’s behind the white stone, do you see it yet?”
Today we visited Ranthambore National Park on a mission to spot a tiger. Some of the people we met on the safari had waited 3 days to see the big cats, thankfully we’d been there little more than 30 minutes before one was spotted. Admittedly the animal was about a kilometre away and at that distance resembled an orange Smartie more than a majestic tiger.
“It’s a story about discrimination, when I was young I was told this story by my parents and it has stayed with me. It’s why I set up Faith, to support these children who are discriminated against.” Smriti, founder of Faith Sansthan, a care home for children living with HIV/AIDs.
We’ve spent the last 4 days at the care home and this evening, Smriti very kindly offered to drive us back to the hotel. It was the first time we’d had a chance to have a one-to-one talk about the amazing work she is doing.
When we arrived in India last week we had no idea what to expect. We knew very little about the country and the people who live here, and less about the situation the children at Faith were in.