||10 November My heart is full these days. Long for the day I can share this first hand with Paul, to be here and not with one eye on the calendar, counting the days. Was embraced by so much love yesterday - at the school and in the streets of Garidharipura. Will carry yesterday with me for a long time, knowing that it will continue to add up and build. There are more than one billion people here. The collected prayer rising heavenward could overwhelm the angels. Little wonder one's heart and soul is caught in the updraft of so much longing. Each time I return from India it is with that prayer, "Let it stay, don't let it get stripped away. Don't let me be comfortable with my all my added up wants. Help me let go, embrace, breathe, want love not things, love people not things, love humanity not machine."
A hijra (eunuch) on the Delhi Road, taking morning milk back to their flat. There are a million or more hijras in India, the original "third sex." Many depend on the age-old customs, hired to bless childbirths, weddings, housewarmings and other auspicious occasions. Believed to possess occult powers, their blessings - and curses - both are respected, and sometimes feared.
Closing Week Two with this photo of me and Michael Russo, an intrepid young explorer and someone I'm immensely proud of. How many eleven year olds care enough to want to experience what life is like for children on the other side of the world, enough to travel 25+ hours to a place 10.5 hours ahead of local time in order to do so? It was a privilege and informative to see this place that has become like a second home through Michael's eyes the few days he was here in Jaipur. The kids at the school and hostel loved having him here. I know he's going to be a great communicator when he gets back home to Fairfield, Connecticut, and will share with a fresh voice and perspective what it's like here.