A year ago, I was two days into my first trip to Kolkata. I knew even that early, that I wanted to come back. It was bold statement to make with just 24 hours into a trip, but there was something already happening in my heart toward this country.
And here I am, 365 days later, back in this very loud but joyful country. If I’m honest though, I didn’t think I deserved it. I wanted it, absolutely. But I didn’t think I had earned the right to return. I am fortunate and grateful that God has plans that I can’t always understand but man, do I appreciate when these are the outcomes he has in mind.
So, on February 21st, I kissed my pup goodbye and set off for the return to India.
The travel was brutal, but we made it to the hotel at 4 a.m. for a few hours of sleep.
Our team of nine gathered for breakfast in the familiar dining room of the Jameson Shiraz for breakfast. I’m not sure if he did, but I’m not ashamed to claim it was me, but the served seemed to remember me from last year. He may have me blurred with other blonde women who have been in the hotel, but I still was touched.
The plans had been rearranged a bit and now we were set to depart at noon to have lunch at one of the host’s (a Mother Theresa-esque native named Jaiashree) homes. Then we were boarding a bus to see the new bus that our church has purchased for the organization.
Something we learned quickly, “over there” is quite a relative term. Turns out, in this case, it was about an hour and a half drive out of the city.
Nevertheless, like all things having to do with India, it was worth it.
The bus is beautiful and will be such an incredible help to the girls at the Girls Dream Home. Right now, they have to walk down a dirt road (that turns into red mud in monsoon season) to catch the public transportation to get to the school. The entire process takes about 45 minutes to an hour. But now!!! with this beautiful option, they will be driven to school in 20-25 minutes. Saving them from the rain, heat and dangers that could lie along the deserted roadway, along with conserving their energy for their studies.
It was the most gorgeous bus I have ever seen.
After that, we made the trek back into the city. We walked “over there” (approximately 5 city blocks) to Marco Polo where we shared rice and noodles and a walnut brownie sundae.
The interrupted and few hours of sleep that we’ve all had in the last 48 hours caught up with us and I’m pretty sure we are all lights out at 9:15 p.m. #noshame
Tomorrow, we rise bright and early for church at the boy’s home! I can’t wait to see the kids!