Zero to One

A pure and simple heart sewn by

Laughter—resonating, echoing across the

Label “Joy of Togetherness”

I am part of a community neither of relatives nor neighbors

via the body;

on the bottoms of my feet — memories of earth: angular red cement blocks holding the sun; rain-polished-yellow-orange-blue-grey slate; flat, brown, stones thinly covered in dirt and imprinted with small symbols of simplicity

Can I Take You With Me?

Only eighteen days ago, I slouched in the warm aqua marine seats of the Dubai Airport for the first time, absorbing the smell of native scented oils, the distant cries piercing the air as they traveled from the prayer room, and the sight of women walking briskly through the terminal, draped in their beautifully hand crafted scarves and saris.

What am I taking back with me?

Two and a half weeks, twelve mangoes, one horse cow, and many smiles later, I have learnt a lot about myself and my communities. India has taught me a new way of thinking and a new understanding of my actions within my community.

Baggage

Counting down the minutes until our flight to Dubai, I’m surrounded by people with whom I’ve laughed until my stomach hurt, cried till my eyes couldn’t hold more and grown like the roots of a new tree—fast but widespread.

Balancing Hearts

Three hours before our last goodbyes, a few of us decided to go up a rooftop to watch Ahmedabad from above. After a few minutes on the roof, Bhupatbai and Sanchi kindly asked us to come down as it had rained a bit before and the roof could be slippery. As soon as we had all gone down the ladder, we sat around contemplating ideas for a while, and exploring what ESI and Jayeshbai’s mission truly meant to us.

MEMO

When people have told me that their trips around the world “flew by,” I’ve never understood. For me, days drag by and I look only to the end and never to the now. Nothing has ever “flown by” for me; not until Niswarth.

What am I bringing back?

I am leaving India with a new understanding about myself. This trip has brought back memories of things that I did as a child, when I did not have to worry about grades or preparing for college, showing who Isabella really is. I have also learned that if I believe in myself, I CAN accomplish things that I set my mind to.

New Senses

I am taking away a sense of selflessness, to love all and serve all. I am taking away a sense of tight community, wherein everyone cares for each other deeply.

Idealistic? Practical?

 “Idealistic.” The group’s response to my question was abrupt and shocking. It was a question that had been asked frequently that day: “Am I idealistic or practical?” The response I received confused me and I couldn’t quite understand why my perception of myself and others’ perception of me don’t align.