Although I did not have the opportunity to teach the women involved in the Women’s Literacy Project, I did have the great pleasure of meeting them at the school picnic on Friday before I left. I sat with them for quite some time, and though a communicational barrier exists, we were able to express ourselves in some ways to each other.
One of the women, through a teacher standing nearby, told me that she wanted more than anything to express herself to me, to pour her heart out and tell about her village and her life and her desire to learn how to read and write, but that unfortunately she wasn’t capable of doing this. It was really a touching moment for me, and one that I will carry with me.
All of the women showed their great appreciation for my visit to their village, and they also showed great hospitality in trying to make me feel at home. They were so proud of their culture, but showed a strong desire to continue with their studies in the future, with the goal of gaining basic literacy. Their stories were touching, and their dedication and perseverance gave me pride in the great strides the Women’s Literacy Project has made so far and continues to make. It is an organization dedicated to fundamentally changing these women’s lives for the better, and I am so proud that Mari, Andrea, and Tashi have allowed me to participate, even in a small way, in such a crucial project. I sincerely believe that education opens windows and doors to new opportunities in ways that other things cannot, and I think this is especially evident in the education of women, who have a reverberating effect on the entire village around them. Being able to see this education and the progression of this project, even if only for a week, was the highlight of my entire trip to India.