“At first, I was unsure if I was just tired from jet lag or if India had made me a more humble person.”

After our time in Delhi we hopped on a plane to Chennai. It was  the complete opposite of Delhi in that where we stayed was a short walk away from the beach and the horns from the road were drowned out by wide open spaces and fresh air. It was beautiful and the hottest.

Our goal throughout our time there was to work alongside Hands On Houses ( An organization that builds homes for mostly widows and disabled men and women. Our job as the A team was to interview and capture the stories of these men and women who have received houses. I loved every part of this. The people were incredible along with their stories. I can’t thank Karla and Andy, as well as Margie and Don enough for letting me tag along for this experience and to learn about India directly from the people who live there and experience it daily. I also can’t thank Suneera, our translator, enough for the many words she taught me and being so kind even when I pronounced them completely wrong or forgot them day in and day out.

My memories from Chennai, the sunset from the roof, helping men pull a ginormous fishing net in on the beach, talking with the widows and families who have received the homes, working with the team and even eating at the burger joint on my last night will always have a special place in my heart. Along with India as a whole.

Coming home: 

At first, I was unsure if I was just tired from jet lag or if India had made me a more humble person. I knew it would help shape a part of me and I was completely open to take in the experience as a whole.  I missed India, though and I was bored at home. I was gone for two weeks and missed home, but I missed the relaxed day-to-day living that accompanied being in India. I went back to my day job and soon fell back into my day-to-day routine. I relived my experience through editing my photographs and telling my stories to anyone that would listen. The truth is India stole a small piece of my heart. The experience both humbled me and taught me so much about who I want to be and how to be better. It taught me patience and simplicity (except in an Indian airport, there’s nothing simple about the way those work) and how to be happy. It taught me more than I could ever write down in a blog post. I got to India, experienced it and survived to tell about it.



Read the full article on Abbey’s blog here.