It was a very emotional time for James’ family (as he had always lived at home) and it was especially important for Mildred to know that James would be well supported.
James moved to a Spectrum Care residence in May 2008 and, though a little apprehensive at first, he was excited to be able to maintain close family connections by going home every weekend. His family take him to church and, while at home, he enjoys getting online on Skype to chat to his sister and brother in Melbourne and other family members in India.
James recently achieved a major goal to go back to India with his family for a reunion at Christmas. This was a very exciting time for James and the highlight of 2008.
James left for India just before Christmas at the end of last year and was met in Mumbai – India’s largest city and home to more than 14 million people – by family and friends. After a couple of days catching up and recovering from the jetlag of such a long flight, James and his family then headed further afield, flying south to Goa to meet more family and friends – some of whom he hadn’t seen in more than 10 years!
While in Goa, James and his ‘entourage’ stayed at the Flamingo Hotel, one of the most well-known and popular beach resorts in Goa. Just a five-minute walk to the clear, blue waters of Cavelossim beach, James and his family found a little slice of paradise for their reunion and made the most of the opportunity.
It turned out to be a busy social time as, a few days later – with Christmas looming – the family also had a wedding to attend as James’ cousin Keith married Zerlina. The ceremony was beautiful and everyone had a wonderful evening.
Following a couple of days relaxing, swimming and enjoying the beach, the family returned to Mumbai for Christmas. New Years’ was also spent in Mumbai and, on 9 January, it was time to begin the long journey back to New Zealand – though this was broken up by a one-day stay in the UAE city of Dubai, with its incredible man-made islands and gravity defying skyscrapers.
Exactly one month after departing, James returned to the ‘land of the long white cloud’ – Aotearoa – with many happy memories and stories to tell.
Thanks to James and his family for allowing us to tell his story. Thanks also to Amerika Wilson, Vicki Quist, Helga staff, Andrea Parata and Taikura Trust.