I guess you could say that I have been on a bit of a blogging vacation. This is evidenced by the fact that I had over 45 blog posts in my "to read" folder tonight, and it has been almost half a year since I have updated my own.
My break from writing was kind of a two-fold proposition. In one sense, I have been super busy, but in another sense, I didn't like the tone of several posts I started and abandoned. I just needed to get my head together before I shared my heart.
The good news is I remembered I had a blog. The bad news is that I still don't know where my head is. If anything, it is probably more jumbled than before.
During my absence, I travelled to India. I intentionally avoided sharing my thoughts pre-trip to avoid saying stupid things and offending people as I did pre-Serbia. I will sum it up by saying that it was a totally different experience. I was more confident throughout the process and excited to see what I would learn outside of my comfort zone.
I won't say it was an easy trip. It started with a stress fracture that almost derailed the whole experience. The walking boot along with the incredible heat made for some exhausting days, but spending time with the girls from the orphanage we visited made it totally worth it.
There was a group of us that went for 10 days while the rest of the group stayed for three weeks. I learned a lot about Indian culture, tried several Indian foods, and ditched the boot long enough dip my toes (and unfortunately my camera) in the Indian ocean. I drank coconut milk from a coconut opened with a machete by a roadside vendor and experienced my first rickshaw ride. I held my breath as our drivers negotiated the crazy traffic, and in all honesty tried not to panic when things turned ugly and they got involved in a street fight. (One got bit. One took a pretty good blow to the head, but we were all safe.)
It felt like a different world. The number of men was overwhelming. That is one aspect of the culture I will never understand. There is so little value placed on women. They are more of a commodity. In fact, while we were there, one of the little girls we were visiting was taken from the safety of the orphanage because she had been sold by her mother into the sex trafficking industry. She was 8 years old.
What am I to do with that? What am I to do with the poverty I saw? Honestly, I have avoided trying to process it. I slid back into my comfortable American life, and surrounded myself with the tyranny of the urgent. I tried to do what so many of us who are blessed beyond all rationale attempt to do - avoid the reality of it. But, it was very real.
That little girl, and millions like her, are trafficked every day. They are bought and sold and taken advantage of with the consent (and at the profit) of their family. Little girls are abandoned and left to fend for themselves just because they are female. And, they are the lucky ones. Their parents allowed them to live, and opted not to profit by selling them into bonded labor. It's heartbreaking.
So, as you can see, my head is still a mess. If anything, probably more so than when I was overwhelmed with a little work stress. I wish now that was the extent of my problems, but that will never be the case again. I will always have the pictures in my mind of the beggars on the street and that sweet little girl that I could do nothing to save.
I am not sure what the future holds for my blogging. I miss writing, but there are so many things calling for my attention. And, most of my thoughts seem pretty insignificant at the moment. I just wanted to check in for the few of you that care enough to follow my wanderings. Thank you. It really does mean a lot that you share my journey - however sporadic it tends to be.