Saturday, 20 August 2011

The End.. Or is it?

Flying over my hometown of Ottawa, Ontario I looked down at the streets to a sight I hadn't seen in two months. Little traffic, straight and wide roads, houses aligned with large pools in many backyards, everything was so aligned and organized, just like our culture. This made me start thinking about what I had written in an earlier post.. the traffic reflecting the Indian culture. I wasn't sure if I was ready to step back in to the culture I knew. People following similar paths, in a similar order, repeating routines, and staying Aligned.
My last two weeks in India were spent with my toes in the sand, my hands on mountain rocks, and my heart with the children who never stopped smiling. The sessions with the children continued with some stop and go's, but I will never forget my very last day with the children. Not everyone I wished to see showed up that day, but I didn't need to see their faces to feel their goodbyes. This was the first day that we gave the children an opportunity to be actors in their own skits. I couldn't stop smiling as I watched them perform with so much personality and character. I couldn't decide if I felt like a very proud teacher or a student who was learning. Probably both. A little more then a week before that day I had the same feeling when we spent the session drawing pictures with the kids. I still remember how perfect that moment with them felt because it had been raining earlier that day which usually cancels the sessions, but when the time came for the session we were all sitting in the sun. At the end of session during the feedback I listened more closely then I ever have in my life when they were telling us what they had been learning from us. How it was important to keep the environment and the park clean because this is where they play and do activities, how they know that we come to do sessions with them to teach them how to be when their older, how they can learn English from reading our lips and watching our movements, and how they were thankful that we brought all of the materials for them to draw and colour. All of these moments are what brought about my tears and more tears when I said my last goodbyes. They tried to wipe them away and give us hugs, but what else can this do but bring out more tears!
During my last few weekends, I went from a hot and dry desert to the non-stop rain of the monsoon mountains. If you ever have the chance to experience a camel safari, please, please do this. In Jaisalmer we spent a day and a half riding on the backs of camels, sitting under a tree surrounded by heat and our desire for a cold glass of anything, and climbing up sand dunes to a view of the setting sun. There is so much that I've said I'll never forget about India.. but this is REALLY something that I can't forget. Waking up in the morning after hardly sleeping because of the wind that swept up sand and blew it in our hair and ears to the rising sun. Sitting on top of a sand dune watching the sun, no words.
So my story started with a decision that no one can be sure about. It's true that India ate all of my money and rent may be a little bit of a problem this year, but I feel better then I ever have before. To be honest, as I sit here with all of these things surrounding me that I didn't have in India, I feel like I had more in a place that seems to have less. But really, what someone HAS isn't anything material. Everything I took from India is in my heart. All of the friends I made will be with me no matter where I am and all of the kids will have the smile that I gave them. All I'm able to do now is Smile.

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