Saturday, March 21, 2015

Quick visit to Kolkata and reflections on the trip

It was a sobering experience to pack up and leave India today.  The experience of working with the orphans has changed - and impacted - each of us.  This trip puts every minor complaint into such perspective.  There were tears and somber hearts as we drove to the airport. As our teens wrote in their posts:
"This trip has changed me. My life has been opened to a new world. A new life. Even if I tried, I couldn't forget the things I've experienced. The people I've met. The horrors and the beauty of India. Oh my god, the beauty. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.... here, the beauty and love balance out the horror and hate." (Xavier)

"I am so blessed and ecstatic that I was able to experience this country with such amazing people!! And am so excited to have met the amazing people I did! ... This a life changing experience!" (Gabi)

I could not say it better myself. Plus we got to meet Caroline Boudreaux - the founder of the Miracle Foundation - and spend a few days with her and hear about the incredible work this group is doing to change lives.  If that is not inspiring, I don't know what is.

On our way home, we had a 12 hour lay-over in Kolkata.  So we arranged a "show-us-everything-interesting-to-see-in-this-city-in-just-a-few-hours" tour.

Kolkata is an interesting mix of old British colonial architecture and overcrowded-Indian-city squalor.

Plus we did some last minute souvenir shopping in the market, until literally everyone ran out of money.

We started at the Jain Temple and learned about Jainism.  This temple is made from stained glass inlaid into a limestone mortar.

I could not resist posting a photo with this little girl who crawled all around Xavier's feet while we were at the Jain temple.

Next stop was Mother Teresa's home. We got to see the Missionaries of Charity house, where Mother Teresa lived and is now buried

They have left the room she lived (and died) in intact.  It is smaller than a prison cell, with a simple twin bed and a desk.  She lived above the kitchen and even though it is was stiflingly hot, Mother Teresa never even had a fan.

Then on to Victoria Memorial which makes you think that you have been transported from India to Great Britain in the blink of an eye.

Lush gardens, tranquil setting, marble building

The teens - of course - mixed it up for our final set of photos from he trip:

Goodbye India.  What a fantastic experience we have had here. Nameste and much love !!!!

1 comment:

Annalee Pappas said...

amazing ... I looked forward to your posts everyday. Thank you, Annalee


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