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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Last Thoughts.....Bye Bye India!


Last Thoughts On India.....
Overall, my time in India was wonderful. It’s funny, when I first started planning for this Fellowship I used to complain a bit how much work had to be done in order to just get design and organize the trip. A lot of the prep was the responsibility of the Fellow. Now, I am truly convinced that all of the pre-work made a difference and ensured the ultimate fullness of this experience and the success of meetings that took place. I couldn’t have imagined what I was going to receive, who I was going to meet, experiences I was going to have, ideas I was going to foster, creativity that would be unearthed, and a cultivation of an inner growing spirit that I am on the right path. 
All in all, I was blown away by India’s hospitality…. awed by her beauty, mystified by her culture, shocked at her extremes, wooed by her people, fed by her gods, and presented a new platform of thought on business, relationships, and technology. 
I started my sojourn to India with, at least at the most, a clean slate. I didn’t want to go there with any misperceptions, stereotypes, fears, or anxieties. Of course, this didn’t happen, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  (Smile)  When it was all said and done, India and the Fellowship that brought me here, was an experience that will go down as a once in a lifetime game changer. Who knows why, how, when, or where the fruits of this trip will reveal themselves, as actual and real outcomes, but I pray that when they do, I am wise enough to see, hear, and act. 
As for the US, from this Fellowship I gained a better understanding that we, the United States of America, still have many barriers to break through before India and the US have a consistent and amicable trade and commerce relations. India, I believe, is under the thought, that they don’t need anyone, in particular the US. I am not so sure that the US can say the same.  At this point in time, frustrations are still apparent between our Countries to see eye to eye, and mean what we say.  The “Pakistan issue” is a thorn in our side that we have yet to shake off in the minds of Indians.    Everywhere I went, everyone I spoke to, there was an unspoken question , but not an unseen skepticism, on why is the US still giving aid to Pakistan? Why is a Country who says that they want to be our friend and ally, supporting a Country that has weapons pointed right at our borders? 
Whenever these conversations came up, I could never say anything outright as an actual answer or give an response that would be hopeful and spirited. I ended up answering with this stock phrase…..“We understand there is confusion, we understand there are complexities, but we know the power of your Country and we want to make things right. We can start doing that by taking small steps to chip away at the distrust that has formed between our Nations”. 
In the end, maybe being able to have the opportunity to go to India was in part to relay,  in a very small way by someone who is just trying to make at the least, a small difference to those she meets and those she serves, “ Yes, we ( the US) made mistakes, but we want to make things better. There are many things we can offer each other as friends rather than foes. Let’s do better together”.
I hope the message was relayed.  And I pray that a difference was made, even if it was just with one person.
Thank you India. Love you and hope to see you soon.
B

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