My trip to Home Depot and Walmart

As I write this I am sitting on the outdoor patio at Nishtha. (The WiFi works best out here.) The mosquitoes are going away and the sun is coming up. The cooking staff is behind me preparing breakfast and 140 lunches for our adventure to science city. They talk, sing, laugh and bang huge pots. I hear the birds waking up and the frequency of the automobile horns begins to increase. Their generosity and hospitality is amazing. They see me working on my laptop and bring me strong chai tea and an amazing samosa with roasted peanuts inside.
I am having an amazing trip. It has been inspiring to see this group evolve and become a cohesive team. The plans are really coming together with our education projects and service projects for the remainder of our trip here.
I had the opportunity to go to the paint shop with my Indian sister Mimi last night. The Baruipur Home Depot. We walk up to this 8 X 10 shop with a big line. Seems to be the shop in town with the corner on the hardware market. We are buying paint to bring to life one of the dirty white classrooms in the school. Some stand in line for nuts and bolts, or sandpaper, Chad buys a shovel. Why not, can’t beat the price for less than 3 bucks! (Shovel and handle.) I can’t wait to see the classroom come to life. We buy our paint, fill up our auto-rickshaw and leave. Mimi takes me down a small alleyway to a market I’ve never seen before. The alley opens up into a huge market with fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and spices. There are huge piles of garlic and people are cooking this and that. It is fantastic. The smells are amazing. I walk by a shop just as a man throws two handfuls of garlic, peppers and onions into a enormous sizzling pan and I think my friend Mike would love this place! Mimi calls this the Walmart of Baruipur. We are shopping for plastic carry bags for our midwives to carry home the newborn kits and clean delivery supplies people in America have collected for them.
All the details of this trip are coming together. Obstacles have been easily overcome. My emotions are right on my sleeve and I can definitely feel, without any doubt the prayers and positive energy all the people back home are directing our way. It is Thanksgiving Day here in India and I could not feel more humbled and grateful for everyone who has made this possible. My amazing wife who could not be more supportive. My children for letting me go. People who made donations, to the parents who inspired these children to make a difference, to the people who let me aerate their lawns, to supportive work colleagues who wanted to help children I told them about, children they will never meet, have a better life. And the countless hours that previous expeditions have spent evolving this program.

I am truly blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving
Stew