Bumpy Roads – No Problem for Magic Bus

I started writing this blog post several times.  It has not been easy to find the words to reflect upon the last two weeks of the PSU SE Magic Bus Program.

My bags are packed, but I am not ready to go.  I am not ready because I have no clue what the repercussions of my experience will be.  While there are creature comforts I miss back home, I do not miss the feeling of being a bit too comfortable and a bit too complacent.  I arrived in India with the expectation and hope that I would learn something.  I will be leaving India with a new perspective on life, on community, on hospitality, on friendships, on teamwork, on myself, on the water I drink, and the shoes on my feet. 

To the drivers…

Thank you Kim and Alison for sitting behind the wheel of this magic bus.  I am not sure how you both measure success, but from where I sit today, you were not just successful…you were both a part of changing eight people’s lives in only two weeks time.  

To my fellow bus riders…

Thank you for being the most exceptional teammates, colleagues, confidants, and now friends.  As Kate said many times, “It has just been easy.”  It was just easy.  Through all the major bumps, exhaustion, long days, sad stories, and hard work, you all made each day better.  I never imagined eight people could not only get along well, but laugh and push each other forward with encouragement and a smile.  I miss each of you already!

To all the students and faculty at IMT, to the Byrraju Foundation staff, to each driver, to each child and adult we interviewed, I am forever indebted to you.  It is all of you that made this ride unforgettable and magic. 

To India and your warm embrace, I will to my best to remember these things…

Guests are Gods…treat them as such.

A smile on your face for a stranger or a friend will produce instant happiness, if reflected upon an open heart.

Just when you think you have nothing left to give, there is a child somewhere bursting with energy, ready to shake your hand and say, “Hey Sister!”  (Take them up on it, and see what happens…It’s magic.)

Be grateful every day for your shoes and…walk on my friend.  

Namaste,

Katie

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3 Responses to Bumpy Roads – No Problem for Magic Bus

  1. ostyman says:

    Katie, having enjoyed a hot shower and brushing my teeth with water from the sink, I know what you mean about creature comforts. I even did a load of laundry at the airport hotel, and I can tell you that the scents of India do not come out in the first wash.

    That said, I too feel like things are already too comfortable and worry about the complacence you mention. I don’t want to lose the mindfulness created by our recent experience on the magic bus just yet. (Not ever, really, but it would be naive to believe one could hang on forever.)

    One quick adjustment as someone remarked on it to me (was it Khadir?): guest are LIKE gods. One can get into trouble equating mortals with gods, apparently. ;)

    I already miss the smiles and openness. Be sure to enjoy that to its fullest through the rest of your travels!

  2. ostyman says:

    P.S. Bumpy roads (or train tracks) may in fact be a problem depending upon the state of one’s gastrointestinal system, eh? ;)

  3. Jude says:

    Very well put, Katie, I like this post!

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