I miss India.
I'll be going back sometime soon.
I'll be going back after awhile to see how Pune has changed.
I don't need to go to (name a random holiday destination), I've already been to India this year.
|The WAGGGS World Flag|
And I miss Sangam, which was the real reason I went. Sangam is one of the four World Centres of the Girl Guide Movement. You can read about Sangam on their website. You can also read about why I encountered on my first International Girl Guide trip elsewhere on my blog.
I've been a Girl Guide since I was six, and then had a very long time away from it. When I married Stephen and moved to Kadina, I decided I wanted to still be a Girl Guide. In fact, I wanted to volunteer my time with the girls there and maybe become an Olave member. The great thing about the Movement is that once you're in; you're in. Yes, I remade my Promise again (no toadstools this time), and I am diligently working my way through a Leadership Qualification - much move involved than one would usually expect from a volunteer organisation. I don't mind, it really is much more than that. 10 million girls can't be wrong after all.
|Off to buy saris on Laxmi Road. we just had to leave Sangam first.|
To me, going to Sangam was like going home. There were aspects I struggled with - communal mealtimes and the lack of privacy were two that I anticipated but coped with better than I expected. Over all I was waking up and going about my day with girls from all around the world who may be incredibly different to me in terms of backgrounds, but essentially had a similar worldview and wanted the very best for their Units of girls, wherever they may meet.
When I left on the last day, the girls sang me a Farewell song and I tried my hardest not to cry. Actually, I cried and composed myself enough to call out "Goodbye" at the gate in my loudest voice. You see, I was actually ready to go back home to Australia and my own family and my own Girls. But seeing as you can have many homes wherever you like, I was leaving one and coming back to another.
|Our Peace Ceremony. You can only carry flags of another country, not your own.|
This question has been plaguing me for awhile now, and the simple answer is 'well, probably all three.' Of course, there are plenty of things I don't miss - homesickness, the unexpected nature of India, being bitten by bugs when it rained. But a lot of those things are trivial in comparison to what I experienced. The other thing is - if I can admit it - is that come a few weeks before I was due to fly out I was pretty terrified. Flying on my own two two foreign countries? Check. Midnight til dawn car ride for four hours? Check. Squat toilets? Check. A country where I should be prepared to almost anything, but couldn't anticipate what may happen to me? Check.
Why did I do it?
Because it was all paid for.
Because everyone was so incredibly excited and nervous and happy for me.
Because I said I would, and I meant what I said. But most of all...
Because I'm a Girl Guide and I can do anything.
No, really. If I have learnt anything at all from my time away, I really can do anything. Collectively. I've got 10 million girls by my side.
|Sari time! Love these ladies.|