As of late my mind and my heart have been in overdrive.
The whole time I’ve been here I never lost that awe factor: that being, I live in this fabulous country and I get to do international human rights work. Just a few nights ago I was riding home in an autorickshaw as usual, but in an attempt to continue to drink in my last few days I just shut my eyes as I listened to The Fray’s new album let tears rolls down my face. Wanting everything about this culture to stay fresh in my memory I simply rode with my eyes closed for a few minutes — listening to the noise, the honking, the wind on my skin, feeling the jerks from the driver’s recklessness ;), noticing the smell of jasmine flowers, masala, exhaust, and foods. I can’t get enough of this place. It woos me to love it over and over again and I’m not ready to go home.
Last week I visited Calcutta and the Taj Mahal for my last trip — with Margaret and Rachel. Here are a few pictures from the trip.
You can view the rest of my pictures on Facebook.
For my last two weeks I will be working with Aftercare and the Google Replication Project. Of course this isn’t ideal (working two jobs at once), but I’m up for the challenge. My only concern is to have adequate quality time with the people whom I have grown attached to –ekk! For aftercare, I’m providing trainings on trauma-informed care that I have contextualized specifically for their casework and for the google replication project I’m creating pre and post measures to be administered at trainings, and if I have time I’ll help design a logic model/ flow chart with how to operationalize the project’s objectives and indicators. There’s an open door for me to return for a second year, but I have until the beginning of June to make this decision.
I’m nervous to go home, nervous to leave this place and am in great need of courage. An illustration was explained so well to me at the beginning of my time here and it fits just as well as I’m about to leave. In a circus, we all watch the acrobats fly in the air as they let go of one trapeze and are met in the air by a person or another trapeze.
When I left for India I had let go of everything as I boarded that plane alone in Atlanta, Georgia hoping someone in India would catch me on the other side–hoping someone would be grace and truth to me–intentional to reassure me of God’s faithfulness through friendship and love; and not only did he give me one person, he has given me an entire office along with several local friends. In the same way, except to a greater degree it seems, I’m struggling with the fear of letting go again and believing, with the same confidence, that I will be met me on the other side, back in the US. My confidence is building day-by-day as I meditate on passages of Scripture, and also, this song by The Fray that has helped to center me and remind me not to worry: Be Still.
After this blog post you will hear from me at least one more time if not twice with a reflective synoptic post/s about my fellowship but for now, I feel like I’m in a whirlwind and everything is blurring together and I couldn’t possibly process everything to do that before leaving. I want to share what I have learned about justice, suffering, God, sovereignty, and this work but it will only come together in retrospect. I fly out May 2nd and I’ve extended my stopover in London by four days to debrief with a counselor to help with the transition and then I will arrive in Pensacola, Florida on May 6th. So stay tuned. You all are in my prayers! I will be in touch and I will have the same phone number I had when I left so be expecting my call!
This week marks IJM’s 15th birthday so I wanted to share a powerful five-minute video with you thanking you for your love and support that you have extended to me to join IJM in this remarkable work. 🙂