Dearest Shiva Crew,

We’re writing you here in Kolkutta at Raj’s Cafe, sipping iced mango juice and coffee (no surprise there…) and looking at the Carpe Diem Shiva tag on the wall along with the hundreds of other notes and drawings from travelers over the years. It’s strange to be here without you, and we’ve been thinking back fondly to those last times all 10 of us were together and laughing here at Raj’s.

It’s been quite the ride these past three months, and we couldn’t be more honored to have shared it with each of you. From devouring birthday cake with bare hands under a starry desert night to throwing Holi color at each other on the streets of Jaipur; from taking scavenger hunts a bit *too* seriously to watching a lightening storm at the Taj Mahal…we both have so many hilarious and sweet and profound memories of this semester.

Most of all though, the moments we will treasure are the most intangible: the moments of personal growth, of conquering fears or shifting habits, the moments when each of you showed heroic courage or compassion or curiousity. As leaders, those are the moments that matter most. (#weareallleaders. Wait, is that how we use hashtags…?)

Mathilda, Sam, H.Ws…Travon, Blanca, Lanna, Haley M, Preston: we are so grateful for each of you in your own unique ways and can’t wait to hear about the next steps of your adventures!

To the family and friends reading this back home – your ongoing support means the world to our students and we know none of this could happen without you. Thank you!

And a final, huge bow of gratitude to Mike-Ji, our extraordinary Program Directer, for all you’ve done to craft this program, support our phenomenal contacts, and help each of us along the way. We wish you safe and joyful journeys in the next chapter…

In gratitude,
James & Avy