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My Story Monday | India – The Last Day | Northern California Photographer

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Welcome to My Story Monday!  Mondays are the day I invite you in and turn the camera on my life so you can see some of my family’s story!

As I told you I am starting this series by writing about India.  I think it is SO fitting as a small team just arrived home from another trip to Chillakalu, they were there conducting a discovery and listening trip. They are hoping to listen and get an idea of how we can do our trips better and have more of a continuing presence even when teams are not in country.  Hoping to create lasting care, and just in general help in the best way not just OUR way:-)

You can catch up on Previous Postings Here:

Part One – Intro

Part Two – Travel

Part Three – In Country

Part Four – Clinic

Today I am wrapping up the India Series, with the last couple days of our trip.  Like those days, this post is bittersweet.  I was ready to be home with my kids, BUT I was not ready to say goodbye to the people and the place that changed my heart and my life.  I just couldn’t imagine not being here, and I knew somehow, someday I would be back!  Here is a glimpse at those days, through my pictures, and some words:-)  Thank you for reading.

Like I mentioned before the rooftop was special for us in India.  It’s where most of us would spend our early mornings, and have our quiet times.  Tom even used it to do his daily stretching:-)  I finally understood the power the roof top held, Tom had been trying to tell me about it for a year since he’s been back from his first trip.

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I loved watching the fields around where we were staying from the rooftop.  And capturing these images to take a piece of it home with me:-)  I was fascinated by the farmer tilling the soil with his cows, we never see this at home anymore, now everyone uses tractors and such:-)  The white cows are so beautiful, I didn’t see any other types of cows there.

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As we were on the rooftop, the girls started to rise, and get their morning chores done.  Soon they lined up for breakfast.  As soon as they saw us, there was a lot of waving and smiling:-)  What a joy to be a part of their days for these few days we were with them.

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THIS is the vehicle that took us to clinic that first day.  It is some sort of modified rickshaw…we saw a few of them around the village and in town.

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Travel in India just looks different than home, and I wanted to capture it.  I love this man with the bundle of wood on the back of his bike.

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Opposite the girls dorm from the roof top was the boys area, and where everyone eats.  Here are the boys lined up for breakfast, and a couple of our teammates checking on them:-)

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These kids stole my heart:-)  I am so honored to know them. They are so full of JOY and so loved in this home.  I am thankful for the work Ruth + Prabudhas do for them, and their community.

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Laundry in India, here it looks no different than yours, if you dry your clothes in the sunshine.  BUT, do you wash your clothes by beating them on a concrete pillar or a stone?  I am guessing no.  I spotted the boys doing their laundry across the field, and I rushed over with Tom in hopes of catching them in action, BUT if you have been reading through the weeks, you can probably guess what happened instead.

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Yep, you are right, they spotted ME and my camera before I could get to them, dropped what they were doing and came to me, asking for a picture, and wanting to talk with us:-)1212_86_Blog

Then some more boys who were playing near by noticed us, and we never even made it 1/3 of the way across the field to the laundry area!  Oh well, next time. 1212_85_Blog

Later that day I headed over to the girl’s dormitory to hang out with them a bit:-)  Someone in our group had brought candy, so the girls were excited, a camera AND candy!  They also tried to teach me some games, I am pretty sure they were old school playground games, but I had trouble getting them.  I need to go back and learn them:-)  It was nice just being with the kids.  This is Puspa, the girl we sponsored, she is so beautiful and sweet.

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This image is SO fun!

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Then it was time to head back for dinner, so one last picture.  I will cherish this picture forever.

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Everyone had a chance to spend some more time with their sponsored kids, to give them gifts they had brought, pictures, and to get pictures taken:-)  Some of these kids have been sponsored for many years so they have a relationship with their families:-)

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Before we came to India, some people in Dr. Lech’s office(and on our team) worked diligently to get donations, and RIGHT before we came, they got donations of children’s “cooling” (sun) glasses. Enough for all the kids in the children’s home to have some.  YAY!  It was so fun to give them out, and hopefully they will protect their eyes and remind them that they are loved.  These kids have hardly any possessions, they all fit in a small area or box in their dorm.  It’s quite a difference from American children’s possessions.

The smiles were so big as they tried them on, and some of the kids even “hammed” it up for the camera:-)

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The morning of the final day, we had time for goodbyes, hugs, promises of coming back, and well wishes and offers of prayers from the kids and volunteers, it was bittersweet.  Puspa taught Tom a friendship handshake, and I brainstormed how in the world I could go home get my kids and then bring my family back here for at least six months…what could we do that would be helpful, and allow us to just be with these beautiful and amazing people.  I am still trying to figure that out!

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After the kids had picked almost ALL of Ruth’s beautiful flowers to give to us, it was finally time for our final goodbyes.  As we got into the cars, and drove through the gates, the kids ran after us following yelling their goodbyes, IT.WAS.UNREAL.  Like nothing I had ever experience, there were many tears shed as we were leaving for the airport, and Tom and I were quiet most of the drive.

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These images are simply the scenery as we drove, I was grasping, hoping to take as much of this country home with me as I could.

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While we had been in country there was some political unrest in the province we were in.  It was a little unnerving to see the armed military on the roads as we drove, but thankfully there was no violence while we were there.  We got to Hyderabad, did some final shopping and eating, and then got to the airport for the flight home.1213_68_Blog

It was SO amazing to be home, but also SO hard to acclimate to normal life, especially at Christmas.  But our Christmas, was simple and sweet and definitely a view of some of the things we brought back from our trip.  It took me a year to process the trip, I am still thinking through the events and things I have learned.  I know I will be ready to go back soon, to learn more, but also to be reminded of what I may have forgotten, and to see those beautiful faces again!  I SO hope you enjoyed this look back at India.  Like I have said before I couldn’t have gone with out the support from my amazing clients!  SO Thank You!

If you would like to learn more about New Hope Ministries, which is where we went, you can go to their website HERE, IF you would like to donate to the current trip you can do so HERE.  THANK YOU!

Like MY STORY and want me to tell yours? Do you need new family images to tell that story on your walls, or in a book on your coffee table? Are you looking at your kids and wondering, where the time goes, and how they got so big? Do you want to celebrate who THEY are RIGHT now? I would love to tell YOUR FAMILY’S story, and CAPTURE YOUR LIFE! Send me an EMAIL, and we will grab a coffee and get to know each other!

-Anna

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