I lived two years in one day today. My life has changed and in this moment I have no idea what the implications will be. What I do know is that I feel a deep sense of gratitude.
- A few reflections from the day…
- Kate and Slater are both inspiring and creative teammates. They were a critical part of what made this day so unforgettable. Thank you!
- Rickshaw drivers will, in fact, give up their rickshaws for you to test drive. (See Kate’s blog)
- The Communist party is alive and well in India. We learned about recent changes in the gas subsidy that is provided by the government, and the impact that is having on the local community.
- Children in India are breathtaking in their precociousness. Every moment I had with a child throughout the day, and every smile, energized me in a way only my nephews can back home. The more I smiled and gave of myself, the more shock waves of joy I received in return.
- Not surprisingly, nurses in India work as insanely hard as they do in the United States. My group wandered into a community hospital today and the Superintendent graciously permitted us to interview the hospital’s Head Nurse. We wandered through back halls into the labor and delivery room (the only space available for 10 minutes). Over 20 years of nursing, has left its marks on her body. She walked with a limp and was clearly in pain, but took the time to answer our questions, and sent us out the door inviting us to return if we should need anything. My mother is a nurse, and has been for over 20 years, so this interview was particularly meaningful to me.
- Dr. Ingle, a professor of mine, always says, “Find a parade a get in front of it.” While he uses this phrase metaphorically, it is quite easy to do in the dynamic city of Bhimavaram. Today a barrage of school children swept us up with their eager smiles and out stretched hands. Their leader pulled us into the parade, his fervor and energy overwhelmed us. Before we knew it we were taking photos with a senator, and being interviewed on the local news. The cause was about maintaining cultural identity, specifically the Telugu language and culture. This morning we found ourselves in the local paper.
- Southern hospitality has nothing on Indian hospitality… sorry Michelle. 😉 The generosity of the Indian people knows no bounds. We were invited into homes and the lives of the people in Vempadu, and the afternoon session proved to be every bit as astounding as our morning in Bhimavaram.
As I head to bed for the evening, I feel so enlivened it is difficult to calm down. There is only one way to “be” in India, and that is in the present moment.