As I sit here on the plane returning from India, I’m sad my time there is over but also overjoyed to see my family. In the early years of my adulthood, I spent a lot of time wallowing while I watched my friends go away to college, study abroad and experience all I felt I’d needed to, but couldn’t. I, of course was married with children, a job and school so I would never be able to share those memories of places so different, in some ways better, in others worse, than where I call home. This opportunity gave me the chance to recapture a part of being young that I yearned for but never had. Having said that India more than ever reminded me how grateful I am for my greatest adventure in that of my wife and children. All of that time I spent lamenting my lost youth was so I’d be able to fully appreciate this memory while knowing I’d be returning to the best thing about my life, my family.
I got really sick the last week. I didn’t get out much and worked a lot on our project. Our mo-ped ride to the hill and the market outings seemed far away. The temples were beautiful and ornate in ways I can’t really describe, but as I lay in my bed delirious with pain I almost couldn’t remember any of what I’d seen. The young men and women I lived and worked with began to take care of me and reminded me why I’d fallen in love with this country even before I came. Maturity and sympathy like I experienced scarcely shows up in the adult world that I’m a part of. Maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s our society of independence and quiet suffering, but I barely understood why they were so concerned. It didn’t really matter; I was there, we were friends and that’s all it took for them to devote their time to me.
India meant so much to me in innumerable ways and I thought the place itself more than anything else would be what I remembered. The people obviously make a place what it is and that’s what I really understand now. It is the people who make India what it is through it’s beauty in nature, culture, architecture, landscape and everything else. Despite its problems, my experience showed that even more things are done right than wrong. I think I can say the same for where I’m from, but I don’t know if I’ll always be able to say that. I knew that I, along with everyone everywhere, needed to learn about humanity’s differences, but I just never learned the extent. I have better idea now. I can’t wait to come back, especially with my family so we can share this country together.