Hey everyone! I just wanted to give a final closing update to my missions trip to India. My team and I got back to the U.S. last Tuesday, and we finished up our ORU debrief on last Wednesday. I’ve spent the last week adjusting once again, this time from things like a lack of curry and incredible chai tea and 115 degree weather, and to things like work and sleeping in. Our contact told us a great way to talk about our trip was to use three words, and I’m going to do my best to heed their advice now:
First of all our trip was humbling. As most of you guys probably expect, India is a different world, especially in the poor areas. To see the blatant poverty, the trash thrown everywhere, cattle walking through the middle of all of the 4 roads in the town, the heat that they lived in, the sudden power outages that hit the whole city, the lack of toilet paper *shudders*… And in the big city that poverty was juxtaposed next to extreme wealth. You’d see a family living in a vacant apartment building with no walls, and the building next to them would be a huge air conditioned jewelry shop. Yet despite all of that they accepted and welcomed us like you wouldn’t believe. The kids and staff did made us feel like we were the most important people in India, and in turn we did our best to make them feel like they were the most important people to us as well.
It was eye opening. To devote yourself to serving others for a month is something that can really change your perspective. Being able to serve and spend time with the natives and the children really began to help me get outside of my little bubble, and desire to do more to help others. But besides all that, the most profound thing I realized is that even though their culture or their language is different from ours, the needs of the people in India are the same as the people here. If I’m not doing my best to help people while I’m here, if i ignore the poor or orphans here, my actions with the poor and orphaned there are hallow and insincere.
Lastly, it was just fun. From hanging out with my team on the roof our hotel in rural India, to wrestling with (or being mobbed) by 10+ little orphan kids and doing my best to survive – it was a blast. I got to see the tallest building in the world while i explored part of Dubai on one of our layovers, and go swimming in the Indian Ocean on what was basically a private beach. Sure things were tough some times, but being able to share the experiences I did, with the people that I did is something I will never forget.