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  • Somewhere I have traveled gladly beyond any experience (E.E. Cummings)...

    As it has been a year today since I left India to return to my home country from a 10 months volunteering experience in India, I pondered on the lines that would best reflect the gift I have received during my international volunteering assignment. It struck me that I couldn't think of the frustrations and the heartaches anymore, of the difficulties being a stranger in a foreign land. All I could think of was how happy I was having been able to smell the proverbial flower while in India, experiencing the sleeper trains and buses, the people I have met in Bolangir, having seen life and smelled death at the River Ganges, and most of all, meeting the good people who have touched my life in one way or another.

    To Ann Marie from Ontario, Canada who have opened my mind to veganism and atheism and helped me understood the importance of respect and tolerance, from whom I have learned that we can shrink food.

    To Jen Ryan from Limrick, Ireland who have been my sounding board, my editor and my critique, who made the best omelet I have ever tasted.

    To Louise from Glasgow, Scotland with whom I had no qualms talking about anything and everything under the moonlit sky, who always said my cooking was tasty.

    To Jane from Donegal, Ireland with whom I had a good laughing and crying with, who always cheered me up with a can of diet coke or a bar of chocolate whenever things turned out blue.

    To Paul from New South Wales, Australia whom I never really expected to be the sweet guy who would find time to text just to ask how we were.

    To Rohan from Jamaica who have been a constant sounding board who never ceased to ask how we were doing.

    To Jennisa from Cebu, Philippines who have inspired me in so many ways.

    To Dipti Nanda from Bolangir, Orissa, India I wouldn't have made it back to my place of assignment hadn't it been for her and her family who took me like one of their own.

    You are those people whom I have met in India that made my journey real and inspiring. I wish to thank you for the gift of friendship and more. I wouldn't have made it through without you. The times we've shared while in India will be indelibly inked in my heart forever.

    Jo ho gaya so ho gaya.

    Dhanyawad, India.
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