Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fifty Days in India

I am back in the United States after 50 days in India. First, I regret not being able to make more posts on this blog because there were many experiences worth sharing. Due to traveling in many rural areas and to the intensity of the schedule, internet use was very limited. Often when the internet was available, the electricity was off. This is common in India. To distribute electricity each location has the supply turned off for several hours a day. Second, I will use the next set of blog entrys to recap certain experiences or insights.

During the trip I attended four conferences and made one meditation retreat, plus visiting several locations of interest and portraying Gandhi in the conferences and/or locations. No wonder I am slow to recover from return jet lag! An earlier blog describes something of the 6th International Confernece on Peace and Nonviolent Action. Now, I am communicating with organizers from ANUVBHA to share insights about follow through. The second conference was the 2008 Gandhi Congress in Wardha on January 25th to 31st. I received the addresses of the 125 attendees from all the continents except Australia today. This was a very rich experience due to local resources and the Congress itself. More later.

The Third event was the World 2008 Youth Peace Congress in Pune where I brought The American Gandhi presence to address the assembly. A previous blog presents my written address. I stand by its contents. The urgent message is a huge frustration for me because people nod "yes", but nothing seems to happen. This Congress was most unusual for me because of its well healed religious content and setting. More later.

Finally, I attended the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace Convention in Nagpur. Here, I was down home with the academic activists. Well researched papers and presentations about nuclear issues and about peace issues, especially the Middle East, were presented. Here, the setting was very grassroots. More later.

I needed to buy another suitcase to bring home all the books, literature, and gifts for portraying. I will never be able to read everything. Most are good additions to the library for reference.

Perhaps most important are the new contacts and relationships in peace making. I am very edified by so many people who are committed to justice and peace, to Gandhi nonviolence, to truth. I think they are having the effect upon me, raising to the next level. I am not sure what form that will take, but it may be some kind of organizing presence in India.

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