It's been almost 2 weeks since I have been in India and I have done very little sharing. There are two reasons: one, I am not really ready yet to share a lot. This trip was emotionally and physically exhausting (most days a 120 degree heat index, lost luggage, very long working days and very long travel) and I am still feeling a little lost from this trip. And two, most of my pictures still need to be approved by various organizations, so I can't really share many images with faces in them.
So, I thought I would start small. Instead of journaling this trip day by day (Like I have done with past trips), I will instead share small stories.
Funny enough I will start with a story from my last day in Kolkata.
If you talked to me before the trip, you know that my biggest fear was getting sick on this trip. I felt extremely lucky that it didn't hit me until the very last day. Even though most of our group has been sick from day 1, it really didn't hit me until the middle of the last night. It is debatable what made me sick (my bet is the McDonalds) but honestly that doesn't matter. I also wasn't sick like you might imagine me being sick... haha TMI... I woke up in the middle of the night with horrible stomach cramps and a really high fever, body aches etc.
So, let's get back to the story. The last day in Kolkata we went to visit the Mother Theresa House. Only 1 1/2 blocks away from where we stayed at the BMS. So we walked there. On the entire trip smells or even the heat didn't bother me. Even though I was running a fever I did not wanted to miss the chance to visit her home. BUT that morning the 1 1/2 block seemed like a 5 mile hike. The smells, the heat and even the sights (people sleeping on the sidewalk almost naked) really got to me. It got to me so much that when we finally arrived at the home all I could do was sit.
At first, I was so upset with myself that I just didn't have the energy to walk around but I felt a great sense of peace just sitting and people watching. I sat for a long time in front of her tomb (first picture) and when I could find a little more strength, I walked back out in the courtyard to sit in the shade there (second picture).
And that's all I could do. I didn't read the signs, I didn't see her room... I didn't take pictures. I rested.
I loved watching the nuns (all still wearing the blue and white robes) go on about their business and seeing visitor coming and going from all over the world to pay their respects.
Small gestures like a worker kissing the nuns feet and she praying over him, these are the things I will never forget.
So, from my visit to Mother Theresa's Home, I have two pictures. Both of them taken from the spot I sat down.
I felt absolutely privileged to be sitting there to rest! Of all the places to be feeling miserable her home is probably the best ;)