Posts Tagged ‘India’

Home Water

20140602-210719-76039677.jpg
There is a lot to process after three weeks in India. But the most important part was returning home…

A friend of mine asked me what I was looking forward to the most about my trip to India in the days before I left. She was mad when I told her I looked forward to coming home the most. She didn’t believe me; and thought I was putting her on with a cheap answer.

I was right. It was the best part.

First was seeing my wife and daughter outside security. I dreamed about for days leading up to the flight home. And every moment of that embrace lived up to my expectations.

And then some.

Next was returning to my home waters. I often say that fishing is about more then just the fish. Most people must think I am full of crap; and that’s okay. They are correct in the fact that if I didn’t ever catch fish, I wouldn’t go fishing. The first strike of a fish and the feeling as they slip through my fingers and back into the water are the two most electrifying moments of fishing.

They will never get old.

But being on the water gives me a chance to do some silent soul searching. I have learned just as much about myself on the water then I have in years leading back up to my rediscovery of the sport.

Three weeks in India were emotional and eye opening.

So was watching the sunrise over the cottonwoods and water on my first morning back.
20140602-212404-77044083.jpg
Even though my home water is not exotic, and the places around well known to my body, I still find out something about myself every trip.

And return home to my wife and daughter every night.

I was even rewarded with a new fish on the fly after three weeks away… A black bullhead.
20140602-213011-77411397.jpg
Not that they are hard to catch, but I had never caught one on a fly before.

You can travel around the world and learn a lot about yourself.

I did.

But if you pay close enough attention, you can learn just as much in your own backyard… Coming home helps you to appreciate those moments that much more.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Day 3: Visiting The Kids

20140515-222155.jpgToday we visited an organization that works with the children of trafficked women for the commercial sex trade. Academically our students are here studying the issue of human trafficking, especially how it relates to Southern Asia…

The place we visited was in the heart of the Mumbai slums red light district. This small school and night center provides what often makes up the only refuge that these children have from the conditions around them. About 60 children gathered to make Macaroni art and bead bracelets with us, from ages 4 to 16. Most had never seen a white person before… Let alone an American.

They laughed and played with us for several hours. When I was not looking, the children would sneak up to rub my cotton socks; as I was the only person from my group wearing them and these children wear sandals… if any shoes at all. They sang local children’s songs and tried to teach us to count in Hindi.

One young boy asked where I was from. When I said Nebraska, he asked “What is that by?” Thinking of the nearest place he might have heard of, even though it is no where close, I said Chicago. Again he looked at me and said “Where?” I broadened my statement and said “the United States.” He looked at me and said “Which continent is that on?”

These kids live with violence and danger on the streets, mothers trapped in human sex trafficking, and the majority have been victims of the most heinous of crimes. Despite this, they laughed and played not unlike any other child I have watched play at home. They were quick with a smile and eager to share India with us.

They got together in a large group and giggled as we danced the hooky-pokie together. Several of the older children to thank us and invite us to come back every year…

They don’t receive many visitors.

When we left the school, our tour took us on a quick walk around the block. As we tried to cross the main intersection to walk down a slum lane, a local cop monitoring traffic stop and would not let us travel down the lane because of the danger to us; even as he let local women and children run by.

The stares that we got from the locals seemed to pierce right through your skin. As we walked back to the bus, I felt as though any of the hundreds of men lining the street could have jumped us at any second. There eyes and their posture made it clear that we were not welcome in their neighborhood. Without a doubt the peril of this place far exceeded any where I had been before. In that moment the immense weight of danger and fear that these children endure everyday came crashing down upon my soul.

As we rode the bus back to the hotel, I pondered how humanity could allow children to live in such conditions and turn a blind eye to their plight. They are laughing, loving kids just like my daughter. When I returned to my room, I did the only thing a rational person could…

I cried.
20140515-222237.jpg

Read Full Post »