We have returned to our starting point and will go to Heathrow soon to catch our flight home. We did it! We came to India and had wonderful experiences with a congenial group of people and fell in love with this country. We rode in trains, planes, buses, rickshaws, canters, tuk-tuks, a three wheeler, a tonga (horse drawn carriage) and even an elephant to explore this amazing country. We said goodbye tonight to our Indian guide, Vikas, who made this trip both educational and fun. He offered to tour southern India with all of us sometime in the future - sounds like a great plan!
The poverty, the beggars, the littered streets, the stacked rounds of cow dung for the fires, the street dogs all with mange, may seem like negatives. They are, but they were all a part of this experience and the vitality and tolerance of this culture is inspiring. Soon girls will have mandatory education to the 8th grade and the hope is these educated women will be the foundation of new choices for themselves and other women. The states in India with the lowest birthrate also have the best educated people. We leave knowing this trip has brought us knowledge and a bit of understanding for a culture we hardly knew.