I thought I would be complaining about the heat, I expected to be incredibly uncomfortable with the smells and abrupt poverty and always to feel on edge, a little unsafe. While the poverty is another thing to consider entirely and I'm sure it will maybe never sit well with me, after just one week I feel much more at home in Kolkata than I ever expected to. I am much more comfortable here, particularly on Sudder St., the walk to Mother House, and in Daya Dan, than I would have imagined. The taxis, cars, buses, autorickshaws that buzz by used to terrify me and even though today Carlitos and I had a close call walking from an autorickshaw to the metro after our first visit to Brother Xavier's, I feel safe even with the chaos. I have been thinking that there seems to be a thin line between such vibrant life and the potential of death in this city, and Ashley also brought that up in reflection the other night. In the homes, on the streets and even in our group, there is the joyful and the distressed living so symbiotically that it's an interesting but beautiful experience to be a part of.
Much love & peace to all of you thinking of us. Your support is remarkable and gives me so much gratitude.