By Antoinette “Ant” Yap, Millwright from Vancouver, British Columbia
I honestly had no idea what I was in for when starting this trip. In preparation for my trip I did my research, spoke to as many friends as possible who touched or came from this far away land to better prepare myself for this experience. What I did not know was that this experience would put me to shame.
The people of India and in my experience the people of Kerala’s hospitality is beyond compare. From day 1 we have been welcomed in treatment only suited for royals and heads of state, fed to the point of fear that I am being fattened up for a feast, and given the opportunity at a rare glimpse into the world of how women in trades in India are breaking barriers. Under the guidance of Thresiamma Mathew, the Archana Women’s Centre is providing woman an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families in trades non traditional to women. This truly resonates with me because I have experienced similar struggles as these women from across the world. I am beyond awe at these women because despite all the adversity they have to overcome, they are thriving and just as kind as the harsh world around them. The quality of work they produce without the tools or resources we have in the western world is astounding. What shocks me the most is their attitude. These women are strong and have the biggest hearts. Coming from a land where westerners can come off as cold, I thought I was more than an adequate host. Little did I know people of India treat guests as their god. It’s incredibly humbling since I am well aware these people would give their shirts off their backs.
Thank you, India, for all the love you’ve shown me so far. I have only been here for less than a few days and am overwhelmed by your hospitality. I don’t know how much I can take before I’ll explode. I truly now understand when people say India changes you. I know I will not only gain 5 dress sizes but my heart is full beyond compare.
Ant shared some of her photos of the visit so far.
Welcome and Celebration