Time may fly but it can also be a precious gift when processing such big experiences (and places) as India.
You should be proud of yourselves. We’re sure your friends and families are. And amazed!
*Special shout-out to Alex for, as our shy 15 year old with no travel experience, making it through like a boss!
Looking back, can you believe that we stayed with royalty in the clouds full of some blindingly hot and sunny days while others stormed with monsoons, all the while with monkeys landing on our rooftops? Or that we got to make a real impact on those kids, their families and the teachers we worked with? *How’s the GoFundMe for the education of your gifted little girl here to get a good education, Carrinna and Bella? *touched, proud and tearing up again*
At the time, it didn’t feel so big, did it? We were pushed our of out comfort zones by at least an Indian “five minutes” in ways that included all those mountain roads with their steep incline/declines, conditions of the homeless dogs and people we’re not used to and some of the biggest spiders many of us had ever seen. Not to mention the trash everywhere, moist everything and smells we’re all happy to forget. Facing constant challenges, inspiration and fun moments such as shopping at McLeod Ganj and creating bonds organically during our free time, such as experience was just…big. It felt like rolling with the punches at times but what an impact it made on who we are and who we want to be.
We could have chosen an easier and smoother program/country but we didn’t want that. We wanted India and all that comes with. Well, we got it and that will forever impact us. So will the people we bonded with, even if just for those moments. That’s the travelers life and, dare we say, even the Buddhist way. To live, love and be forever impacted in the moment without any expectation of the future. Time to shake up our sand mandalas, kiddos.
You are all at such a magical place of not only being both a new adult and child all at once, you are also at a time in your lives that the platform of who you will forever become is built. You have given those of us lucky enough to be a part of that a peek of whimsical transport back into our moments of life when being the most alive and leave us with humbled gratitude for the gift of being a part of yours. Take what you have learned into your worlds, our little GLAers, and let yourselves be the light that others grow from.
Time to rally!
We would tell you to make us proud but you already have. Even by knowing you for a few short weeks, we also already know that you always will.
Some special moments from our trip:
Seeing the Dalai Lama drive by on the first day – wow!
Our first experiences with all the money’s, doggos, cows and even spiders.
Bonding with each other while sitting around during free time and those moments of first connecting with the kids at placements.
Putting together our beautiful photos with the written stories that came with.
Ashvini’s talks, the PJ photo sessions (like the Kangra tea gardens) and, most of all, the beautiful photos we ended up with.
The beauty, history and culture of the Norbulinga Institute.
The intimacy and ability to each be heard in the mentor groups.
The nature and beauty of St. John church
The serenity of the Kora and majestic symbolism of Dalai Lama’s temple.
Shopping at McLeod Ganj…three times.
Meeting the king.
Hikes! Just 45 steps at the Guna Temple.
Knowledge gained at the Tibetan parliament.
Learning about a culture and one women’s history with it all at Dolls for Tibet. Not to mention getting a few cute dolls!
A yummy meal hosted by the king.
The rice fields of Priyanka’s family farm.
Dancing until the floor was so wet we were practically swimming at India Funday.
Celebrating Conrad and Riley’s birthdays.
Surviving the heat and soaking in the grandness of the Golden Temple & Taj Mahal.
So now we say one last namaste,
Mentor Robin and the STL India Crew