Since I have returned home I cannot stop thinking about my time in Nagpur. Yes it feels wonderful to be back in New Jersey in my comfy bed, with my family and friends, and eating American food but it is also very bittersweet. I have never had to say good bye to people that I had become so close to but that I also knew I would most likely never see again. In the course of four weeks I formed really connections with the the boys, which made it extremely difficult and emotional to say good bye to them. The day we left the boys prepared for us a short song for us and then a few of the boys got up and said what they enjoyed most about their stay (they spoke in Hindi but Father was able to translate for us). We were playing with the boys when Father came out and told us it was time to go. We shook all the boys hands and gave them hugs and thanked them for welcoming us into their home and told them that we would miss them very much. It was a lot harder than I imagined. The boys were really so wonderful and I really miss them. Everyday I think about the memories I shared with them. I laugh when I think about the last day when a geico got stuck in the fan and his tail was cut off. One of the boys put the tail on the stick and was chasing me and Mary around with it saying I got you a present because you are leaving. I smile whenever I watch videos of the boys dancing or show my family and friends pictures of all the boys and tell them stories about them. I love telling everyone about how a family in Delhi asked Mary and I to take a picture with each of them shaking hands with us.
My trip to India was the most interesting experience of my life. I learned so much about the way Indians live and the issues that they face on a day to day basis. I learned so much about myself and what I want to do in my future. I learned that there is so much to learn about this world and about other people. Witnessing the poverty the is so prevalent in India was truly eye opening and incredibly sad. I realized how blessed I am but it is really difficult being back here and knowing the challenges that so many people face in India.
I am so grateful that I was able to embark on this journey and I look forward to keep sharing my experiences in Nagpur! Thank you so much to the Fr. Smith Fellowship for making this amazing and life change experience possible for me.