Sunday, June 1, 2014

Indian Odyssey

After countless hours of air travel and layovers, we finally arrived in India! Many of us were feeling a wide range of emotions from apprehension to enthusiasm. The first day started out rough for me. I over-slept due to jet-leg. (India is 9 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Greenville). It was ironic because I dreamt of this occurrence... Self-fulfilling prophecy, manifestation derived from fear, or bad karma? Whatever your preference for reasoning, I didn't let it ruin what was ahead of me. I swiftly gathered my necessities for the day then proceeded to walk down the steps and into the chaos. Beyond the hotel glass windows was an environment I wasn't accustomed to. This was the kick for me to realize the depths of my decision to immerse myself in a foreign culture. This choice is a seed that sprouts far down into the roots of my fears and high into the unotuched areas of my potential growth.

We stand out like a sore thumb everywhere we go. Imagine opposing universes merging together for the first time and as a result both are reflecting curiousity. We receieve many stares, hello's, questions, and people often ask for pictures or take one without asking. I feel like I somewhat understand what a celebrity feels like. Many people ask me if I'm South African, South American, and some people even assume I'm Indian. When people ask me where I'm from and I respond USA, they don't believe me at first. My curly hair attracts attention too. A man asked if he could buy it from me. (He was kidding or at least I think so.) Overtime, I have learned to just have fun with it. Many times when you catch someone staring at you and you smile or say hello, they smile or say hello back. It is always what is inside of us that mirrors on the outside. We all know what universal love feels like because at the core we are unified. Human interaction is about the same everywhere you go. Most people respond to kindness and if they don't then it's okay.

We have had to make many adjustments on this trip. The pictures you see may seem like everything is perfect, but we face many obstacles to get our minds to see past the imperfections. Everyday is 100 degrees or hotter and it is unbearable at times especially when we have to walk up flights of stairs. It strongly tests your mental. A couple nights ago, one instance in particular spoke to me so passionately. I expected to have an okay shower because I knew it would be cold but boy was I wrong. It was perfect, exactly what I needed. I was just happy to have soap and water. That's all that mattered at that moment. I couldn't believe how complacent I was with the temperature. A couple weeks ago, I would have been miserable in a cold shower. Through a positive outlook, I am slowly but surely breaking the boundaries and through understanding of the culture, I am learning to use discernment.

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