Our time here in India ends in a few hours, and it has just flown by, so I will end my blogs with a short tale from yesterday and some final thoughts.
Yesterday we visited the local SOS village which is a non-orphanage, orphanage. And we were caught off guard. The setting is beautiful on a hillside and very child-friendly. We joined with the art therapy/religious studies group to do service learning; they did chalking in the main outdoor theater and we did a song feast in the adjoining building.
Surrounded by beautiful children, we sang nursery songs and they joined in.Then they taught us songs and dance - a true exchange. The children took our cameras and my mandolin and were beyond joy. They took us to see their homes and meet their SOS mothers, we ran races and played cricket together, and we cried together when we left, all In a two hour time.
On India, the country of contradictions, stunning beauty and public health challenges related to basic sanitation. What will be most remembered by our group, though, will be the people, the level of hospitality has been frankly spiritual. We have been blessed by our new relationships. We will work hard to create ways our colleges can further the partnerships; this will be a real way to live our mission as they live theirs.
This leads to the final thought: we travel so we can see another way things can be done, not necessarily better but maybe, they educate the whole student in a way that we could improve on. They also have some ideas that maybe we should eat with our hands, and maybe we should stay married. Again maybe we should just keep on being Americans but it is essential to go outside our boundaries to make sure that is the best course.
I am grateful to the students on this trip; they have been a most fantastic crew.