I have so much I want to share with you all, that I feel as if I could write India blog posts for the rest of the year. This trip has been nothing short of amazing, eye-opening, and culturally educational. I’m going to dip deep in some upcoming posts about what I’ve learned from this trip, what this experience has taught me, and how thankful I truly am. Until then, let’s talk about the animals over here. For the record, I have a soft spot in my heart for animals.
From the moment we arrived in Jaipur I have seen livestock and animals every 100 feet. Dogs are the most popular of these animals. When we were sitting a stop light, Clint counted and saw 10 in the span of like 20 feet. Let’s just say there are creatures everywhere. Except their animals aren’t like the ones you see in America. I mean they are, but they really aren’t. Over here, they are so skinny they make you look twice. Dogs that should weigh 80 lbs maybe weigh 40. Cows with rib cages popping out, baby goats scrounging for food, monkeys sitting on the tops of buildings waiting for food, and pigeons flying overhead. (Here feeding the pigeons…) I’m constantly telling C, “Oslo is the luckiest dog in the world. I miss our pup … etc.” Now every time I give Oslo double treats or a bone before I walk out the door, I’ll see the images of the starving dogs and I’ll count his and my blessings twice. How lucky I am to have the money and supply of treats to give my pup. how lucky y’all. seriously, how lucky? now, don’t get me wrong, this is the Indian way of life. I mean no offense to this culture and environment, but you really never know how much you appreciate something until you realize how you’ve taken it for granted.
Before I ever came over here, I was dying to ride a camel. You know when you see a picture of something, then you get an idea of what that moment could be like? Well that’s kinda how I felt about riding a camel. After seeing these animals and their surroundings, I have to admit I was kind of saddened by the idea of hopping on a camel. At what cost to the animal was I fulfilling this idea in my mind? Riding on a camel and being in the presence of such a beautiful creature was all I wanted to do, but was the camels health expended for me? Are these animals used to this? Do they like being rode? When the moment came to ride one I had mixed emotions. Sure, I told myself this was once in a lifetime experience. “I have to ride a camel. I’ll never do this again.” But I promise, the instant gratification and the memories I experienced will be haunted by the images of the life these creatures live. They spend their days tied to the ground, giving tourists rides, and surrounded by city life. I used to think of camels roaming the dessert and sand dunes. Now I’ve seen them in a whole new perspective.
Was this God’s plans for these animals? And was this God’s plans for me to see? Was I suppose to come over here and witness a different way of life to appreciate how much I have? I always say everything happens for a reason. I came here for a reason. These animals are over here for a reason. There’s a reason I feel the way I do about them. There’s a reason I’m seeing a whole new culture and way of life. There’s a reason…
On a lighter note, the camels really did make me smile. When I first went up to one he reached down in my hair. Probably searching for food but it still made me laugh. When we walked down the road, he stopped to eat from the tree. That brought joy to my heart. It was so funny to see him chewing, and at least I knew he was getting some food! I wanted to give him a name so he would always have a place in my heart. I think for now, I’ll call him Color. Because regardless of how he lives, how he is treated, or his lifestyle, he made me see color. Color in a black and white world of these animals. Color in a memory I will hold on to forever. And color in the streets of India.