This journey through Nepal and now India is nearly at its end. After a short visit to New Delhi, the group visited the famous city of Agra, home to the more famous Taj Mahal. It is as spectacular as everyone says it is. After an early morning visit tothe Taj, when the air is cooler and the light more subtle, the group moved on to Jaipur, located to the west of Agra in Rajasthan, home to desert, camels and legendary Rajput palaces, beautiful princesses and kings.
In the photograph to the left, back row, are Charlie Davisson, Patrick Lowder, Corbin Cleary and Ryan Gott. The front row includes Jessica Najarian, Megan Kack, Gar Kellom, Jamie Utzinger and Liz Carroll-Anderson. Patrick, Ryan and Jamie will stay on in Jaipur to teach for a time; the remaining group, joined by Sarah who is still in Kathmandu, will return to the U.S. on Saturday, July 24.
Reflecting on the experience of these past weeks, Megan Kack writes, “The best journey’s are the ones that answer the questions that you did not think to ask in the beginning. My trip . . . has led me to ponder, question, grow, and form new perceptions of my everyday situations. Mostly, traveling to a foreign culture and region, illustrates how the heart can be filled anywhere on earth. The importance of my upbringing and the values and curiosity instilled in me at a young age remain. Therefore, I have been contemplating a quote of my hometown author Bill Holm:
‘What in fact had I been taught in Minneota, this dot of former tall grass prairie, I, 1969.204 feet above the sea, midway between oceans, night and day, ice caps and jungles? I had been taught the possibilities of desire, how its varieties act themselves out in a human life anywhere in the universe, not only in a nondescript small town far from anything that mattered much to the general culture.’
Megan continues, “As I further contemplate the greater difference that I can make, I begin to wonder who I am making a difference for and on what scale I can contribute to others. In order to even begin to describe my growth . . . I must express my appreciation to my parents and siblings for their support and encouragement throughout the years. It took me to travel to East Asia and back and to South Asia away from the comforts and communication of ‘home’ to truly discover one of the most important aspects of my life: my family.”
And so, our thoughts return to those we love most dearly, those who encouraged us to take this journey of learning and self-discovery, those who we eagerly look to embrace once more.