By Caleb Lewis
India is a place full of adventures. Around every corner there is a new discovery. This being my third time in India, I have truly discovered something that I will keep close in the coming years.
This treasure is family.
During my first, second and third visit to Agora I have felt homesick but never really understood why. Was it the completely different food? Was it being so far from my house? Was it being out of my comfort zone? The food in Agora may not be my favorite but I don’t mind it. These questions are not why I miss home.
What makes me homesick here is how close the locals truly are to each other. This small community is the perfect example of family. When one person needs support, they all support him or her. This big family is held together by a network of small families. Each one eats together, works together, laughs together, and cries together. Seeing and feeling this every day is a reminder of home. It has shown me what the greatest treasure in life is – my family.
We annoy each other, laugh together, cry together and live life together. I wouldn’t trade this treasure for anything in the world. My family isn’t the only treasure I have realized here though. The other treasure is Christchurch School.
My family helped me join this amazing school and without it I would never have known what being part of a small community feels like. Christchurch is another family I will always hold memories of.
Earlier on this trip, I went on an adventure. I hiked down the side of a mountain in search of a travel guitar. Me and a small group of friends finally found one and we soon joined back up with the group for our trip to Agora. The next day, after arriving in the village, I caught myself walking through the community strumming my guitar. One person caught my attention.
An older lady with a big grin on her face was enjoying my presence. I slowly walked by her going further into the community. On the way back to our lodge the same lady saw me again and held out a few treats in her hand. She held them out for me, truly welcoming me and my guitar into the village.
Later, I played two songs for my host family. After playing, they gave me the nickname ‘singer man.’ With a new nickname, I felt even more welcomed into this community. It was obvious that even strangers can be welcomed fully in as family members. There was no awkwardness for me. This is how every community should be.
I feel homesick here because this place reminds me of my family and Christchurch as well. It makes those treasures so clear.