Tomi’s India Volunteer Experience

Update posted by Tomi Selway On Oct 02, 2016

Tomi: Looking forward to paragliding! What an experience!

Mike's post:

View from our hotel room in Dharamsala. The bus ride was 14 hours. Really poor internet. Will try to keep you updated.

There is a doctor in Australia who offered to donate money and an email list if we could put together a newsletter. I spent the last few evenings teaching Kranti Mailchimp and last night we sent our first test email. Woohoo! I need to make sure she can do this on her own so she can continue after I leave.

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Update posted by Tomi Selway On Oct 02, 2016

Tomi's post:

About to set off on an overnight bus ride to Dharamsala with Michael Evelyn, Frida and Emily!! It's a beautiful city on the edge of the Himalayas. Although I'm having a wonderful time volunteering, I am ready to be away from all the chaos that is India... If you know me, you know I absolutely LOVE mountains, so this is the perfect place for me to visit while I have the opportunity. It has a predominantly Tibetan culture, so we will be enjoying their food and learning about their way of life. Its going to be a great time and a wonderful last weekend before heading back to Colorado. Only 9 days left!

Yesss I'm so ready to not be sweaty 24/7. And it'll be nice to be away from the constant honking for a while haha

Mike's post:

We are going to dharamsala Tibet tomorrow night for the weekend. It's an overnight bus ride. Really looking forward to the higher altitude, cooler temps and peaceful surroundings.

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Update posted by Tomi Selway On Oct 02, 2016

Tomi's post:

Halfway thru the volunteer trip!! I miss being in my beautiful state but it's been such a great experience so far. I've learned so much about the world and about who I want to be as a person. Thank you so much Aishie and Elizabeth for showing me the PMGY website and thank you to everyone who has donated!! All the support everyone has given means so much to me. I'm so happy that Michael came along, I have had an amazing time in another country with my favorite Judee! I'll keep you guys updated on the second half of this adventure. Again thanks for all the support!!

Mike's post

The retail shops area is about a half mile from where we are staying. People constantly honk their horns. It is not considered rude, but helpful. So you know when someone is coming up behind you. The pass each other from all directions. There are no traffic controls other than constant speed bumps. People don't even pay much attention to being on the correct side of the road.

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Update posted by Tomi Selway On Oct 02, 2016

Tomi posts:

We are doing all we can for these kids and the people that visit the clinic. Although the slums aren't the best place to be brought up, they know how to have a good time and it makes the world seem a little brighter knowing that we can make a difference for some of them. All the volunteers have great helpful attitudes. It is truly a gift to be a part of an organization like this! Thanks for the support!

Mike posts:

Besides Tomi and myself there are about 8 young volunteers (the number fluctuates as they leave when their time is up and more come in) mostly from the UK, Sweden and France. They are all in their early twenties and are an inspiration.

If any of you are discouraged about the future of humankind, as is easy to be when listening to mainstream media, these young people will give you hope for a bright future for us all.

The people associated with the orphanage are also amazing. There are 3 areas of focus - medical clinic, school and women's projects (where they make items to sell). They desperately need money and I am trying to figure out how to set up sales and donations. Doing anything here is very difficult, but I will let you know. Meanwhile Tomi could sure use some help.

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Mike I’m so glad you went with Tomi. What a great experience for both of you. I hope that you do some grandpa bonding. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot about life and people...even at your ripe old age! haha! Hope you’re both having fun while helping people.

Barb Fitzsimmons

Update posted by Oct 04

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Update posted by Tomi Selway On Sep 26, 2016

I spoke with Tomi briefly this morning. He and my dad are back at the orphanage and volunteering in the medical clinics and schools, respectively. Tomi is keeping his spirits up and has a great attitude about working in the clinics! He said it seems like Mike (aka, my Dad) is in good spirits, as well.

He said he is taking a lot of blood pressures and has been dressing some wounds, too. He has had some training in first aid here in the states (we participate in CERT exercises) but he said just about EVERYTHING is different there in Faridabad and it has been tricky learning to do things their way with the language barrier. Still, they are jumping in and helping so much, including showing the children in the school how to properly wash their hands! :)

Something Tomi has told me repeatedly is that there is trash everywhere there. He feels sad to see how much of a need there is for sanitary conditions in the clinic, let alone in the community as a whole.

Thank you all who are supporting their efforts with kind words of encouragement!


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Thank you, Mom...that is very sweet of you to say! We are so proud of Tomi for making that choice and happy that our influence has helped push him in that direction. Being a parent sure is tricky, but times like these really show how it pays off. Now I’m just looking forward to him making it back safely! :) ~Aishie

Tomi Selway

Update posted by Oct 02

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There’s nothing like the 1st hand experience that Tomi’s getting. Aishie YOU are a wonderful mother. It’s because of your efforts to guide your son in the right direction that he made this important decision to work in India. There is no more important role in life than for parents to guide their children and to be a good example. You have done both. If you didn’t have a good relationship as your role as mother to Tomi he wouldn’t take direction from you. What a wonderful partnership of mother and son! I’m so proud of you my daughter and impressed with Tomi’s decisions as well. Love you!!

Barb Fitzsimmons

Update posted by Sep 26

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Update posted by Tomi Selway On Sep 25, 2016

This has been a tuff week. It's been hard for me to find my groove, but I have finally found it. I discovered that some of the older students and teachers want to learn Office applications so I teach the older students Office in the orphanage in the morning, then go to the slums and help teach the younger kids math until school is out, then spend an hour with the teachers on Office after school.

I am also trying to work with them to put together a blog or website. They want to get the word out about what they do for the kids and the sick, and try to raise money by selling the goods that they make. It's hard to get anything done with the language barrier and sloooow internet. I feel like I am running under water.

Tomorrow Tomi and Amish (another volunteer) and I are taking the weekend and going to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and to Jaipur. Should be very exciting. It will be nice to eat something besides orphanage food. I already need to buy a new belt.

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Update posted by Tomi Selway On Sep 25, 2016

First hot shower in over a week. Almost better than visiting the Taj Mahal!! (It actually didn't even compare to the Taj hehe it was just glorious.)

I was attacked by a monkey today.... I have to say it was definitely one of the scariest expieriences of my life. I was walking on the roof of a temple quite a bit ahead of Michael and Amish and one of the bigger monkeys ran screaming at me. I think it thought I was trying to hurt its baby. I had to run, vault over a wall with a 10 foot drop onto another narrow wall and jump off onto a ledge to safety. It grabbed my arm in midair and i thought it was over! My glasses flew and scratched my arm on one of the walls but I made it to safety. Luckily it didn't dig it's nails in when it grabbed me. All I can say is THANK GOODNESS FOR PARKOUR.

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Added FB post from 9/26 from Tomi: Visited Agra today! Saw the Taj Mahal and the Amber Fort. What an amazing thing it is to be alive!!! Embrace the world with open eyes and an open mind or you will miss what really matters in life.

Tomi Selway

Update posted by Oct 02

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Wow Tomi, that sounds like a horrible, yet memorable experience that you can one day tell your grandchildren. I’m glad you’re ok my sweet grandson. I miss you. Stay safe and stop walking on the Temples! haha! Seriously though, be careful. I look forward to hearing all about your adventures when you return home.

Barb Fitzsimmons

Update posted by Sep 26

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Update posted by Tomi Selway On Sep 25, 2016
Had an absolutely amazing time in Jaipur today with Michael Fitzsimmons and Amish. We painted elephants, went to the Amber Palace and got a blessing in the temple along with a private tour, then went to a textile manufacturing facility, and finally out to eat at an authentic Indian restaurant. Everyone wanted pictures with me and grandpa at the temple; we were like movie stars especially with the turbans! Looking forward to more fun and the trip to Agra tomorrow
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Update posted by Tomi Selway On Sep 25, 2016

Having a great time in this program so far! Most people are very nice and I am learning new things all the time. Yesterday I watched doctors perform a c-section to give birth to a baby, one of the craziest things I've ever seen! I also visited the lotus temple and went to the New Delhi Hard Rock Cafe with some of the other volunteers. Everything is so much different here. I'm looking forward to 2.5 more weeks!!

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Update posted by Tomi Selway On Sep 25, 2016

9/19: Took the metro into New Delhi with Tomi Selway and fellow volunteers. The other volunteers are so young and adventurous. I am impressed.

9/20: First day work. They take us to the slums where there is a free clinic and school and the women make stuff. I started working at the clinic but thought my time would be better spent teaching. Tomi Selway worked at the clinic. He is doing great!

I'm the evening we went shopping.

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Worthy cause and awesome young man who went out of his comfort zone to help the less fortunate & he took his grandfather along too! This trip will change both their lives for the better.

Michelle Herdt

Backed with $50.00 On Oct 04, 2016

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James Martinez

Backed with $50.00 On Sep 30, 2016

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An amazing young man blossomed from a boy. Love you kiddo

Lynn Fitzsimmons

Backed with $50.00 On Sep 28, 2016

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Keep up the good work

Bob Hannaford

Backed with $200.00 On Sep 26, 2016

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Way to go Tomi!!!

Ramona and Billy Britt

Backed with $50.00 On Sep 25, 2016

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Have a great time abroad! Do some good work. Don't let anything get you down or get in your way.

Fred Sickly

Backed with $15.00 On Sep 18, 2016

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Tomi, I'm happy that you're doing this. I know it will open the doors to great things. I hope that you get to experience it all! Love you, Grams

Barb Fitzsimmons

Backed with $100.00 On Sep 16, 2016

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James Martinez

Following Since Sep 23, 2016

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Barb Fitzsimmons

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