Welcome from the threshold

My prayer bracelet reminder

Digging through a drawer a few weeks ago, I came across a red string prayer bracelet that was gifted to me by some fellow travelers during last year’s Social Enterprise in India course. I’ve been wearing it ever since rediscovering it as a practical and experiential reminder for this year’s trip. Don’t forget to order Indian currency, my bracelet whispers. Listen actively. Let yourself be changed by each conversation. Leave your assumptions at the door as you head out to the airport. Travel light.

Welcome to the 2012 Social Enterprise in India blog, where this year’s travelers from Portland State University will report from the field what we’re learning about social enterprise as a strategy for solving social problems in an Indian context. We’ll also share what we’re learning about ourselves along the way. We invite you to join the conversation by following our blog and posting comments.

Writing this welcome, I am reminded of Lakshmi, a shy caretaker at the Byrraju Foundation guesthouse in Bhimavarm, who taught me how to draw muggu, the white chalk symbols some Indian women draw on their thresholds to ward off disease, illness and other evils from entering their homes. I’m posting a picture of a muggu Lakshmi and I made together here, at the threshold of our blog.

Muggu on the threshold of the Byrraju Foundation guesthouse, Bhimavaram, India 2011

Wishing my fellow travelers safe and meaningful journeys,

Alison

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One thought on “Welcome from the threshold

  1. Alison, thanks for sharing your reminders, in particular the one about being changed by each conversation. I try to keep Carolyn’s definition of listening in the forefront of my mind at all times, but it can’t be underlined, highlighted and broadcast enough.

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