I’m now in Nepal. A couple days ago I was in Sri Lanka. I needed a break from the aggressiveness that seemed be around every corner of India. I thought maybe I had become used to the economic, social and political disparity, having spent almost four months seeing it everyday. I hadn’t. Nor had I gotten used to being gawked at, yelled out at, and constantly reminded that I stood out as different.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, I noticed how much more easily I was breathing. I wasn’t constantly alert. I wasn’t avoiding looking at certain people while also keeping tabs on everyone around me. When a group of students asked to take my picture in the park and I said no, they walked away.
This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy India. I certainly had my moments of enjoyment. But overall, I was overwhelmed by every sense.
Staying with Professor Campbell and Karie (before she took a long LONG trip back to Iowa) allowed me to get the break I needed. It was quite nice of them to put me up. I saw amazing gardens, jungles, and temples but most importantly, I decompressed. I had time in a comfortable, safe place to just breathe and relax with lots of good company.