Written by Kate and Doug
Let’s look at some numbers, shall we?
We were 9 humans
From 8 different states in the USA
We traveled to: 1 big, diverse county for 84 days
We visited: 8 cities
And 2 towns
And 4 villages
All in 8 different states
We traveled by train: about 2,363 miles
By bus: about 1,071 miles
By domestic flight: about 2,276 miles
By raft: about 50 miles
And by rickshaw: truly uncountable
We spoke about 100 words in Hindi (but probably only 20 with any sort of accuracy…)
Essentially 0 words in Tibetan
And 1 word in Ladakhi. (Julley!!!!)
But, of course, experiences like this one cannot be measured by quantity but, instead, must be looked at by quality.
No set of numbers could ever truly explain the experience we just had. It was the moments in between that made our time inIndia special.
It was the warm hellos and the tear-filled goodbyes. It was the thalis after thalis. It was the laughing yoga. It was touching every(!) street dog. It was swimming, rafting, dunking in, admiring the Mother Ganga. It was squat toilets, composting and flush. It was 100s of pounds of ginger. It was jumping pictures. It was climbing mountains. It was MOMOS FOR DAYS! It was birthday parties and a halloween party. It was prayer wheels and auspicious sides of the body. It was climbing trees to retrieve star fruit. It was the train chai, chai, chai, chais. It was the dance parties and cultural presentations. It was noodles with the family. It was parades bigger than the olympics! It was the meaningful conversations and moments together. It was the laughter and the tears. It was the shared experience, support, and growth.
These are the moments that made our India experience special. These are the moments we will never forget.
And it is you all! You seven incredible, intelligent, hard-working, compassionate humans that we had the privilege of traveling along-side this last semester. We are so grateful for each of you for deciding to take a path that spoke to your heart and for opening yourself up fully to all the growth, challenge, and wonder that came with it.
We miss you. We look forward to the next time we meet again and can’t wait to hear about the new and exciting adventures you embark on. Thank you for being our Shiva family. We love you dearly.
Love always, Kat and Dog