My “akkas”, “tangis”, “tammas”,

I don’t remember ever being taught this way; “everyone who is not you is still your brother or sister”. Of course it was refreshing to walk around and be called a sister by many people who just simply realize what kind of love it takes to make humanity just a little bit better, but it also reminded me of the fact that love is easily taught. Love is also a choice – and the Indians, they definitely reminded me of that everyday.¬† With every request, or every time that things were not going perfectly well, they didn’t get annoyed or roll their eyes like we see here in many cases; they were readily available to fix whatever the problem was.

They made sure to always let me know that “guests are gods”, so “no thank you/ no sorry” allowed.

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It did not take much time for us to be invited to eat at people’s homes,and we were full every time. People would stop their days to make sure we got to visit the temple that we wanted to see, to take pictures of the little piggies outside, the goats, the shopping and pretty much anything else that we felt the need to do. I met phenomenal people who were selfless and chose to give up their egos and even religious choices just to make sure our day isn’t bothered. I am so used to people making sure EVERYONE knows that they might be different or difficult in many ways. I caught myself being ignorant to small things many times and Indians were still not enticed to point out my mistakes. I ate non-vegetarian food next to vegetarians and caused offenses that I would consider large, but they still chose to educate me and enlighten me on everything. Sometimes, they would even try new things with me, such as mixing ketchup with mayonnaise to dip fries in it !

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With as many religions as they have, nobody ever tried to convince me to love their ways, or their religion. I even had people who wouldn’t eat at all join me and never mention it once. There were people who skipped prayers and people who chose to not eat at all just so they could stay around us and make sure our days were great! I only found out about all these sacrifices they made AFTER leaving Hubbali, which made me admire them so much more for not seeking attention or praise for this even though they all deserved it! If that’s what the gods feel like everyday, they’re extremely lucky and hopefully they will be rewarding the beautiful people of Hubbali in many ways!

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Even children constantly hugged us, said hello, called us brothers and sisters and always made sure to leave us with a smile on our faces. Somebody didn’t have a car? No problem, they’d borrow a scooter, they found a friend who drives, or they’d finagle our way to the destination somehow. I wrote this blogpost, because Indians had plenty of opportunity and choices to go about their days the way they normally do, but what made the trip was them actually trying and actually being excited to have us with them. You can tell they’re not the type of people to wait for death to tell you they love you. Every day and every moment in India, I felt LOVED. I felt appreciated and I felt like people were actually curious enough to want to get to know the real me,

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It was a beautiful experience every single day. I never felt pressured to act like somebody i am not even though they¬† had plenty of chances to have the last say, or make me feel uncomfortable. “Dhanyavad” – I had to learn to say thank you even though it made them mad at me, but I wish I could say it a million more times ! These people impacted me a whole lot more than others who’ve been in my life for many more years !! I cannot wait to return and visit them.