We created this trip with the hopes that it would be a life changing experience. That was our goal. So now we ask ourselves, did we succeed?
After listening to the answers of our winners, we think the answer is Yes. And then we realize, of course we did. How can you see the hopeful smiles of children just pulled from a mica mine, have them dance with you in shear joy, and not be changed. How can you see bashful school children who are as mesmerized with you as you are with them, listen to them greet you with “hello teacher” then see the water tank we just funded sitting only feet away, and not be changed. How can you realize that just the night before the water from that tank was drained in a village power play, and not be changed? How can you gaze at the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas at sunrise, be delighted by peacocks and monkeys roaming wild, realize the incredible beauty of the planet and not be changed.
After meeting some of the most lovely and generous people in the world, and viewing the most breathtaking scenery, you are perplexed by the many contrasting situations. A barrage of people stepping over a homeless woman sleeping with her child on the street- only realizing a child is there when you see his small dirty hand holding his mother’s as it peaks out from under a blanket. It is heartbreaking beyond words and you can’t understand how this could happen. You are shocked by the endless array of garbage littering the streets and even the remote walking paths of the Himalayas. And if you are a dog lover, the endless supply of slum dogs is more than disturbing. But then you ask yourself, what do we allow to happen at home that we conveniently ignore. How do we treat our homeless, why do we euthanize millions of unwanted dogs and cats each year? How do we protect the environment and wildlife in our own backyard? If you ask yourself any of these questions, and answer truthfully, how can you not be changed?
How can you return home and turn on the tap for the first time and not be incredibly thankful for what now seems like the luxury of clean free flowing water, and not be changed. Finally, how can you see the effects of what we have accomplished through Global Greengrants Fund & Earth Month and not feel overwhelmed with an incredible sense of pride for what we do, and gratitude for our company that holds giving back as one of its most important objectives. Choose only one of the above, and then you will realize that you are changed.
Thank you for taking the virtual trip with us and for your kind and caring comments. We were all so honored by your genuine interest. We hope you will join us as we celebrate Earth Month in April at an Aveda Walk for Water or Appointment for the Earth. In a way, our trip lives on as we carry the torch from India to raise money & awareness for clean water in our own backyard. At home, we can make a difference on a daily basis working to protect and conserve the water we’re so fortunate to have. We come full circle by buying the Light the Way™ candle whose proceeds helps change lives by funding water projects around the world, like the one we saw in India. And when you change the world, you realize you yourself are changed. Pretty cool accomplishment for a candle. So while the journey of India ended, please let another one begin. One that continues to change the world. See you in April.
Katie and Gigi