Tag Archives: India

Happy Mother's Day

by Erin Kelly
May 8 2011

Today is Mother’s Day, a day to acknowledge and be grateful for all of the wonderful things that mothers do – making you grilled cheese on a rainy day, helping you finish that diorama that you waited until the last minute to do, buying you your first prom dress, encouraging you to follow your dreams and supporting you every step of the way. While I’m certainly grateful for all of those things, I’m even more grateful for what my mother did for me last year – provide me with the opportunity to travel around the world and meet incredible individuals along the way.

There aren’t too many mothers who could accomplish such a feat. Sure, they would love to do that with their daughters, but very few take the plunge and I bet even fewer could handle the conditions. It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing all the way. Staying in hostels, sleeping on the floor of a bamboo hut, getting bitten up the wazoo by mosquitoes, going without running water and air conditioning for days on end. And the hardest part – traveling with your daughter for 99 days straight. Nobody loves his or her kid that much to want to spend that much time with them, right? All in all, you certainly have to have an adventurous spirit to do such a thing, and no one has more of one than my mom.

I was continually amazed at her tenacity and determination throughout the trip. It didn’t matter how hot it was in Nepal, how badly her knees were hurting, how congested the streets of India were – she always kept going, no matter the obstacle. But then again, she has been like that all of my life; never making excuses and never giving up.

I think the best part of the trip for me was the fact that I got to do it with my mom and see her in action; not just as a mother, but also as a traveler in her element. I learned so much about her as a person, someone who has dreams and fears, just like me. And consequently, I have learned more about who I am as a person and why I am that way. Or in some instances, why I’m not a certain way. It’s fascinating to me how two closely related people can have such opposite reactions to the same situation. How can one person just jump on a subway train in Moscow while the other is compelled to stop and take the time to decipher the Cyrillic signs first? It’s a mystery.

I guess what I really want to say is that my mom is the coolest, most supportive and most inspiring mom I know. I am so lucky to have her in my life and that is what I am grateful for the most. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you.

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Revisiting “Standing on a 10 Foot Frozen Wave”

by Gail Mooney
July 12 2010

It’s been only 5 months since I wrote about standing on top of a 10 foot frozen wave of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Lake Superior, Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Seems like a lifetime ago. I couldn’t be further from that wave, both literally and figuratively speaking. As I stood on the crest of that frozen wave, in utter silence with no one in sight for miles, I reflected on the human spirit in this remote part of the world. The sun was setting and I was fearful of slipping into a crevice but yet drawn to the glow of the setting sun – feeling hopeful for the future.

We left Jaipur, India yesterday, with the temperatures nearing the 100 mark and the humidity level the same. But it seemed hotter because everything here in India seems intensified on every level. We’ve been on the road for close to 2 months now and have traversed a variety of climates, cultures, joys and heartbreaks. It’s been easy, hard and everything in between.

In creating this documentary “Opening Our Eyes” we have challenged ourselves in every way we know how. Just shooting a documentary with an HDSLR system, on a slim budget and with a two-person crew is a feat in itself. But this documentary is taking us around the world and putting us in touch with the less fortunate of our planet. It’s humbling, heartbreaking, exhausting, yet somehow a boost to my inner spirit – that same spirit I wrote about back in February when isolated and alone on top of that 10 ft. frozen wave.

How I crave those frigid temperatures and the utter silence of tranquility. Space is a luxury in India with billions of people competing for it. Such an intriguing culture but one that is beyond demanding of all that a body and soul has to give. I draw on my inner strength and my people that came before me who taught me well about struggles and endurance as well as compassion for those who are less fortunate.

My eyes have been opened these past two months in so many ways. To experience and see the extremes of the human condition across the globe has broadened my perspective and put things into balance. What seemed so important just a few months ago, seems so trivial today.

And so it goes as we complete this journey in a few months time. Off to another climate and culture with our eyes opening wider as we go along.

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