Wednesday December 12, 2012 – This is my last night in India and I am reflecting on this experience while listening to the ongoing fireworks from an extremely lavish wedding just outside my hotel room by the rooftop pool. Tomorrow we leave for the next leg of the journey to Bangkok.
I feel very grateful to have had this unique opportunity and it is something I will cherish as a once in a lifetime experience. As I reflect on this trip I know that India has taught me so many things and has opened my eyes to a whole new world and way of life. I have been frustrated, angry, annoyed and bitter at times between the “Delhi Belly” (Kerry and I both caught a bit of a stomach infection and have had to see the doctor, but are now on the road to recovery) the flight cancellations, the scams, the language barriers, the garbage, the traffic (honking! so much honking), the extreme poverty, the stares and the heat I’ve learned that India truly will test your patience. However, for every con there has been a pro in this rich and diverse culture full of beautiful colour, wonderful tastes, fashion, hope, incredibly friendly and hardworking people, community, history, diversity, acceptance, spirituality and hospitality.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all you turn the corner and are amazed yet again. India attacks all of your senses in so many ways from the food, sights, sounds, smells and colours. In the past 35 days I have been sad, angry, overwhelmed, frustrated, touched, amazed, incredibly grateful, peaceful and inspired.
The experience with SEWA was also extremely rewarding and remains a highlight. I am so inspired by the efforts of theses women to empower each other and fight for women’s rights in India. These are the women that need to be the faces on the billboards and role models for young women all across the world.
India is truly a culture of beauty.