Almost 2 weeks ago I returned from India and on this trip, I was able to see 15 new water projects spread over 3 states.
More than ever, I saw the importance of being in person, as the conversations were richer, more insightful towards cultural cues and norms, and organically produced and led in nature. In addition to this, just being in a village and seeing the people who are benefiting from our work was rewarding.
COVID certainly played a big role in my trip and presented some challenges, but despite the necessary testing, additional paperwork, diminished flight schedules, and food offerings in the hotels, I managed.
In regard to COVID, India has overcome the worst of what they experienced in April and May with the countless deaths, bodies line the streets, cues of ambulances waiting to get patients into hospitals for treatment. What remains is an educational push to stress the importance of hand washing, social distancing, and mask wearing along with being vaccinated.
My biggest take away from this trip is the fresh perspective I gained towards India and the need to be open minded and hearted in regard to need, suffering and the willingness to extend empathy and a helping hand as possible towards those who are marginalized or suffering.