Apologies for the long delay in posting… I’m actually back in the US now after a whirlwind last few weeks in India! I’ll try to sum up a few of the sweet “lasts” of my time at Search…
–Debut of our “documentary”! – Juliane and I had long been talking about compiling our photos and videos into a little homemade movie comparing India and the West. So the night before I left, we scrambled to put it all together and finally it was ready! I don’t have the link yet but when I do I’ll add it here! It was a nice way to sum up all the awesome cultural quirks we noticed 🙂
–Meeting a traveling family – On one of our last trips back from the Gadchiroli market, we saw what was normally an empty field occupied by dozens of people. The driver kindly stopped the truck so we could get out and see what was going on. The chaos soon emerged as a makeshift campsite: families had set up blankets and sacks and started a few small fires to keep warm. Immediately a huge group of kids appeared to check out the visitors, but even the adults were friendly as we asked them why they were there. Turns out they were from Madhya Pradesh, the neighboring state, and were passing through Gadchiroli to sell saris and other clothing. They would stay for a few days, then move on to another town. It was a brief glimpse into a totally different life than most of us will ever know- constantly wandering from place to place, sleeping in fields. It was sad to know that most of the kids clambering to see their picture in my digital camera (letting out a wordless excited yell for about 5 minutes straight!) would probably attend very little school, especially the girls. On the other hand, I imagine the bonds built from sharing such a lifestyle are also probably unique. I left with mixed emotions but glad that we got to cross paths ever so briefly.
–Moonlight walks, runs at sunrise, volleyball matches, games with kids, dinners by the fire… – All these little moments that were such a part of daily life at Search that they pass by almost without you realizing how much you value them… until you’re about to leave and you realize that they’re each treasures!! I’m writing this entry from home and already feel the pang of absence of all these little moments. Which brings me to…
-The goodbyes – I can’t describe how hard it was to say goodbye to the wonderful group of people at Search! The beauty of the people was what brought joy to all those little moments; it fleshed the moments out, made them three-dimensional (who knows how many dimensions a memory has!) and therefore tangible and stickable-in-my-heart memories, whose joy I carried with me as concretely as my bulging suitcases and the small bundle of flowers wrapped in a leaf and the goodbye card I was sent off with. India’s got its fair share of issues, but I think getting to know this group of people working in this tiny corner of the globe, doing their part and living out the principle that
“All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization” (Baha’u’llah)
…all that brings me joy and confidence that India has that many more helping hands! All that’s my roundabout way of saying you Search folks are awesome and I’m sure going to miss you!! 🙂
Next up will be a quick entry of my brief trip to Ahmedabad, Delhi and Agra.