What I thought of India at the start of the trip…
I-Impossible to be clean
I-Intense, especially on the roads
A- Awkward… when you can’t understand what anyone is saying around you and always have Indian men’s eyes glued to you
Once I took time to truly open my eyes to see and understand this beautiful country….
I-Immovable hearts filled of happiness
N- Nicest people I’ve ever encountered in my life
D- Different culture, yet it’s so special in it’s own way
I-Intelligent people that learn quickly
India can change you or break you depending on how you let it affect you. Yes, there are people sleeping on the streets that you’re walking on when it’s freezing at night. Yes, you see many different kinds of diseases and handicaps that you never thought even existed. Yes, there are people at every age begging at your feet for anything, and you know that most of the girls that look the age of your younger fourteen year old sister with a baby in their arms have pimps that will take whatever you give them. Yes, every wrapper you unravel you will find the garbage for on all the streets of India. Yes, you will think your family should pick out a grave sight for you every time you step foot out on the streets here (whether it’s in a vehicle or on foot). Yes, all the food you eat (whether you know what it is or not) will most likely have curry in it. Yes, if you are a female (especially with blonde hair) you will feel like a celebrity wanting to go into hiding due to everyone staring and trying to take pictures of you pretty much everywhere you go. Yes, I promise all this is true but I also promise that your heart will never fill so full of love and compassion. You can’t escape anything, but you can learn to love it.
You will love the people of India. When I say they are the nicest people I’ve ever met, I meant it! The people on the streets that are tucking themselves in to go to sleep on the cold wet ground are the ones telling you “Goodnight” when all you’re thinking of is crawling into your bed back at home. They have nothing yet they’re the ones greeting you on the streets first thing in the morning with the biggest smiles. People watch out for each other here, especially the drivers. When the road looks as if only one car can get pass well don’t think to soon… cuz I promise a big bus and an SUV will make it even with a 1,000 ft drop off on one side. The drivers always help each other out with the sounds of their horns. It literally is a form of communication here (especially when blinkers don’t exist). Indians are very hard workers and definitely learn fast, especially when it means their future. People have to work hard to fend for themselves. The children in the orphanages were very fast learners and we were able to teach them quite a bit, but they still taught us more. I know what it’s like to have a room full of students not listening to a word you say, or the frustration that comes when you want them to retain information, and understand a specific concept. But I do know the happiness that comes when a light bulb goes on in one child’s head, and then shortly after they all start to understand you.
I know what it means to have a heart full of love and service. Those kids served me everyday by sharing a smile, hug, or kiss with me, or filling a little hand slip into mine to help lead me up a steep hill when I wanted to give up. The people of India never stopped loving and serving me, and now I don’t want to stop either.