Mark Macey- The Last Time

I've been home for a little over a day. I've seen a few of my friends and family members. Most people ask the same questions when they see me. People want to know if India was life changing, an event of biblical epiphany. I wonder what life changing means. It's used often enough that its meaning has faded away. I can't speak for everyone, but India has kept me the same person I've always been.

I think people believe what I did before I went, which is this; after you cross the border into India you become drastically altered. I'm going to tell a story. Our plane touched down in Delhi, and we waltzed off. I put my foot on the soil of this new country expecting a complete baptism, but instead, I learned a lesson. No matter where you go, dirt is dirt.

I taught children to speak English, solve equations, paint, sing and every subject in between. I love these girls. No matter where you go, love is love.

I left these girls with tears in their eyes. They mumbled broken English about missing me, loving me, begging for me to come back. No matter where you go, separation is separation.

I spent 10 seconds in a complete nosedive over the Pacific Ocean. I thought I was going to die half way through my way home. No matter where you go, having to change your pants...

I met these girls and love them with involuntary devotion. I love their teachers, their leaders, their supervisors. I love Nishtha in its entirety. I love my new sisters, mother, and grandmother with more hope than I have for any other being. They live in India, but they could live down the street for all I care. So, let me answer the question most frequently asked. I was not, and no one ever will be changed by India, but its people have carved my soul into an object of unbelievable peace and appreciation.