Hello Wild Ones,
We hope you are recovered from your culture shock by now, and feel immersed back into your home culture. Stop a moment and reflect: how has India affected you? How has it made you better?
Now close your eyes. Take a deep breath (count to 5) and exhale out (count to 5). Think of a great memory from this experience.
India has the tendency to change people. You may not feel it when you are here, but it is an experience you carry with you. What changes have you noticed?
Things in Dharamsala are moving along. The community of Gamru is a bit quieter without the loud morning wake up calls, music playing and night time roof chats. Tourists are still flocking to McCleodGanj and the mountains still reign over the beautiful green landscape. Life is vibrant and beautiful, albeit a tad disorganized to the Western eye.
Your experience may be over, but it lives on through the pictures you have taken and the stories you tell. You have to power to greatly affect this community, simply by sharing your photos, your words, your stories. Use this power with respect, care and mindfulness- your actions always affect others. You make and create “lollipop” moments every day. In this sense, your “service through the lens” continues well past the program dates. Perhaps a better name for the program should be “Leaders through the Lens”.
All experiences are ultimately shaped by us. We have our own lens that we see the world through. Does yours feel a bit more “green” than before your trip (hint hint: Kaitlyn’s story about yellow and blue cultural lenses)? We hope that this experience challenged you and helped you grow- now and in the future.
We wish only the best for you and hope you keep in touch.
Laura, Kaitlyn, Priyanka, Kapil, Sachin, Vinay & Ishan