Third Times a Charm…25 Jan 2010, by Uncategorized in
In a few days I’m headed back to India and I find myself bursting at the seams with that anxious anticipation that always precedes something exciting and challenging. Getting there and getting re acclimated to the rhythm of Kolkata is going to be tough but I’m ready for it. I’ll probably be eating those words in the near future when the city inevitably starts to wear me down but for now I’m psyched, re energized and ready to take the city on.
It’s been a little over a year since my first trip to India with Made By Survivors and now I’m heading back as one of the leaders. Very cool! During our trip we will visit NGO’s that are helping and working with survivors of human trafficking and sex slavery. Volunteers will have many opportunities to interact with and get to know survivors and those at risk. I can say from personal experience that their lives will be forever changed by it.
The fact that I get the opportunity to return and experience it again and on another level, is incredible. Visiting India is a rare treat. One that most people never get the chance to experience. And those that do are lucky if they get that chance once. This will be my third visit to the sub-continent, so I feel like I’ve won the lotto.
Even though the country is close to my heart I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with Mother India. It really can’t be any other way. India, like many other countries in Asia, is a land of extreme contrasts. For example, the poverty is appalling and ,depending where you’re at, impossible to escape. Yet some of the richest people in the world are from India and there are parts of the country that live very comfortably often yards from sprawling slums and shanty towns.
I’m also not looking forward to getting gawked at everywhere I go, but I think I’ll deal with it better this time around. It can get really intense, especially when you’re traveling in a big group like I’ll be doing most of the time. I should seriously ask an Indian company if they want to pay me to advertise their products. I could wear a t-shirt or hat with their logo on it and more people will see it in one day then if they put it on tv. Seriously, it get’s so bad at times that people start taking pics of you with their cell phones. So not kidding! lol
There are of course many splendid things about India. For starters the richness and diversity of it’s cultural heritage is surely unsurpassed anywhere in the world. The vibrant colors of the food and the clothes jump out at you everywhere you go. And the mystical beauty of the temples and palaces can make even the most die hard atheist re evaluate their belief in nothing. You spend your time there suspended between two worlds. One of beauty and one of poverty. It’s like experiencing a dream and a nightmare at the same time that you can’t wake up from.
So I can’t wait. I’m checking and rechecking to make sure I have everything and I’m getting myself prepped or the 14 hour flight. ahhh! However the week leading up to leaving is always the best time, so it’s all good. Except of course when you have a little crisis. Something maybe like this…
The other day I chipped the front tooth of my dental bridge (yeah!-lol) so now I have a nice little chip that you can see when I smile. Not too much when I’m talking but now I’ll be subconsciousness about smiling. Hate it! So, I didn’t have the time to have it fixed here in the states before I leave so I have to get it fixed in India! Apparently India has a huge dental tourism industry and I can get the bridge fixed with the same quality as here in the US but at a cost 50-80% cheaper. I’m sure I’ll have a few blog entries to make after that experience. LOL.
Stay tuned and keep checking back!
See you in Kolkata!