This is my final week abroad in India, we are back in Chennai, India and as you can note from the pictures above we were given Indian Sarees! This sarees were given by women from Soka Ikeda College for women where they had a vision to deliver education and does a wonderful job in doing so as they have enabled and empowered many women to continue their education without the hassle of paying more than they have to. This organization has impacted the community of women because if this organization were not created many individuals would be left without the opportunity to grow professionally.
I did however want to take the opportunity, and in my last blog to talk about how India in its entirety changed me as a person, as a global citizen, and as a future professional. It was in the last thirty six days filled with transformative thinking, emotions, and lessons my words could never suffice that I learned the most valuable of lessons. See I see love in the wrinkled eyes of an elder as she cleaned the dirty roads, I saw joy in the child that laughed and played with no shoes but stopped and waves as I passed by, I saw dignity and compassion in my rickshaw driver as he held so much pain but never complained, but most importantly I felt connection, true authentic connection as I joined my new friends in many dances and laughed my heart away, as I saw women empowered as they understood their value and as I saw leaders build and grow communities to teach them the love and respect they deserved. A year ago I would have never imagined myself across the world as I was these last six weeks, but there is nothing else I would have preferred. My eyes have seen a lot of broken and felt even more hurt, but I am glad for it as it has opened my eyes and removed tunnel vision of so many realities, encouraged me to do something different, and showed me what and who I want to fight for. I prayed once to God to allow myself to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and I can assure you that this prayer was answered. As during these last 36 days I was challenged in the most challenging and vulnerable ways but I understood the value of being stretched and taught through the ability of being flexible, patient, and understanding. All in all, this experience has taught me the reality and totality of humanity. We are all in search of the many things that make us love, grow, and learn, and so I leave seeing my neighbor now as someone different and odd, but just as another human who has gone through different experiences and has loved differently and for that I am blessed, blessed to know this, blessed to share this.