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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

still blogging/ processing/capturing the impact of our LAI (Leithauser Adventure to India)i

I'm still in awe of all of our land and space.  From my earlier blogs I hope you can tell how pleased I was with our adventure, the countries we visited and the result of the effort.  There were times it wasn't easy and it has nothing to do with travel- it is seeing how much we have and other's do not have.  I can reflect now as I extrovert and share thoughts on the trip- how glad I am we went and my feelings.  I hadn't realized the spirtual side that was so present as well.  Much to think about..and as usual the blog helps me do so.

Sally is working on her power point.....she carried her notebook/journal all over India extroverting and planning (wonder where she gets it?) about the format, categories and gathering ideas.  Peter is working on the one page essay we've requested. I love how it flows and gives me insight to his take-aways.  Clare went to school today to collect assignments - thank you to the teacher that gave her a break and simply asked question and her reflection. Yes it was worth the long flight, expense that was more than anticipated and time away from other ventures.

Some of the challenges of the trip were the poverty and pollution. You can't help but go and recognize just how blessed, fortunate, lucky we are.  I knew this going over but the magnitude of the feeling during and after are humbling.  There were moments that I felt bad to be posting and sharing and letting the kids do so.  We do not intend to boast. I hope I'm able to express lessons, share learning and that may be why I blog along with simple social media posts.  I also blog to capture and preserve for our family.  I also blog to process.

I value the world that delivers assistance.  This happened so many times.  One to address my concerns about was this the right trip came in a most unusual way....a Michael Moore film??  "Where Should We Invade Next"- a trip abroad with fascinating insights and good/positive happenings.  There is a point in the film where the person being interviewed says- America- you invented the most powerful tool- the Internet- use it to learn about the world beyond you and then come see us, come meet us and care about our culture, language, history...I now want to go to Tunsia! There are many pearls in the movie.  Yes,  a bonus of a long flight is the movies!  I was worried about the kids consuming too much screen time..I think I was most guilty.  I watched: Finding Dori, Me Before You, A Bollywood movie about a stand-in Prince, Elvis and Nixon, Tango/Foxtrot/, The Wilderpeople and a few more I can't even recall. What a treat and the messages of the film connected and affirmed our adventure.

This trip provided so much wonderful people watching!  I too used a journal and wrote reflections daily. I started while sitting at the airport and took down notes about those waiting with us.  I was drawn to the woman across from me and made my notes.  I must of willed the conversation. Her warm voice delivered a wonderful welcome, her eyes twinkled in delight to hear of our plans and destination. We reading to board the leg to Dubai- when she found out we would be going on to Delhi you could see the delight.  She had been visiting her daughter and two granddaughters- one Sally's age and you could tell she wanted to help. She emitted the energy of a type of fairy godmother. Her first response to us was- be patient with the queues, we are a country of 1 billion people. Then she paused and reflected and said- and please enjoy the cuisine, order vegetarian when you can as we have dishes and approach to vegetarian you just cannot find in the US.  Stating she believes Trader Joe's gets very close! She also was the one to encourage the Bollywood movie on the plane to set the tone!  Our world of today doesn't seem to have as many chatters during travel. Even me the extrovert and people person refrains from befriending the strangers.  Again messages and assistance is when and where you need it, if you are ready to accept it.  I'm glad this woman and I were both ready for one another.

The kids were fascinated by the locals reaction to them.  A picture at the end of yesterday's post shows the kids with a young Asian baby. At the Crocodile exhibit a local family there placed a 6 month old in Peter's arms and took a picture.  At the Taj and other crowded places students on school tours all found Peter and enjoyed learning his name and snapping selfies.  We even found the man in front of us on the shuttle to the Taj doing the same thing. Our white skin made us a minority and delighted many.  The kids rolled with it and even enjoyed it - declaring themselves famous. It was always done in innocent, sweet ways.  A wonderful bonus of this trip was putting us in a minority point of view, putting us in a more real world, a panoramic of colors, accents, languages,  styles, approaches, religions.

Funny happenings related to food....poor Clare being told a long green item was a green bean- wrong- it was a hot pepper- ouch! Not enough water or Naan to quench the flame in her mouth.  My reaction to a green dessert from the Veg unlimited Briani and Kabobs was a green pepper mouse.  Hmmm I like my sweets at dessert and my savory before.  No doubt there are more and I may update here as I recall and time allows so they are in our Life on Newark-Granville Road History book.

Over all it was such a special trip. We were certainly held in God's hand as we leaned, prayed, were kept safe despite numerous near misses.  I wasn't expecting a spiritual backdrop, energy or reflection but I'm most grateful for this part of our journey and adventure.  Thank you for sharing, reading and the affirmation and interest.  I love the quote that made its way to me as I prepared for this post:

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