Almost Home for the Holidays


I don’t recommend being sick on an airplane, as I just spent fifteen and a half hours on my American Airlines flight to Chicago in the bathroom. I was without a doubt violently ill. I keep trying to figure out what went wrong. I followed all the rules in India.

No tap water (bottled water only)

No meat (unless in a 5-star restaurant)

No salad

No street food

Some fruit OK (bananas, oranges – fruits that peel)

Soda from bottles only

I keep going over it in my head. I’ve been an A+ student for the past one and a half months, in terms of following what foods I should and shouldn’t eat. What happened?

My stomach feels like someone is slowly pulling my intestines apart and all I can do is curl up in a ball in my seat, pull the itchy blue blanket over my head and cry. I feel a slight poke at my arm. I pull the scratchy blanket off and peek out.

“Excuse me mam, but these saved my life.” I’m looking at a very tall man wearing a colorful checkered shirt, khaki shorts and sandals.

“I recon you could use them right about now,” he says as he winks.

His pot belly protrudes out kind of far and he talks with a southern drawl. He has a calming spirit about him, which contradicts his appearance. The man smiles warmly, kneels down and looks into my swollen, panicked eyes. He hands me a small box of medicine. It takes all the strength I have to reach my hands from under the blanket and take the box from his hands. I look closer. “Anti-diarrhea.”

This gesture of kindness makes me cry instantly.

I try to muster up enough energy to say thank you, but the man stops me and says, “I’d take those as fast as you can little lady.” And then he walks away. I could hear the flopping of his sandals as I swallowed two pills. The magic pills helped a little. Instead of running to the bathroom every minute, it was now every ten minutes. This gap in time left me with 9 minutes of free time.

I start to think about my orphanage. I went to India with the goal of making sure everything was running smoothly with the current orphanage. I needed to buy the children items they needed (winter coats, warm winter blankets, new school shoes, winter boots, etc.) and open a new orphanage and school for slum children. I’m proud to say that the Alice in Wonderland school for slum children is set to open at the end of January and the new orphanage will open at the end of February.

Mission accomplished.

I caught sight of the time and I have ten hours left. Will I make it?

Alice can be reached at

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