1 Apr

group photo cmu cmuq and bajaj

No one wants to admit when they are missing the comfort and security of home and family. I love India, travelling, the group, and the work we are doing. Honestly, I would not change where I am, but I do miss my family and friends at home. I think there is a lot to learn from being homesick.

Being away from home always reminds me of the true meaning of family. I have been an aunt since I was five years old. Family has always been a significant part of my life. Throughout my life I have always wanted to be defined as something more than just a “family person.” I always thought that being a family person meant that I was defined by my family, or that I can’t be my own person. This trip has made me realize that’s not true. I am a family person, but being a family person to me means that my mind works by thinking of families. Throughout my life I have created many families. I have my biological family, my parents, brother, sisters, nieces , nephews and extended family. I have my best friends in Pittsburgh, who are a second family to me. My family members are the ones who are always there for me no matter what. My love for my family at home has only increased while I am away.

Traveling has reminded me that family is what you make it. Our group has become a family. We don’t always get along. We bring out the best in each other, and sometimes we bring out the worst in each other. But at the end of the day we are all on a journey together and we are there for each other. Being a family is about understanding, supporting and accepting one another. I’ll always remember our “sharing night.” We formed such a strong sense of family as we sat at the ashram around a candle sharing music, stories, art, etc. That night we all went out of our way to understand each other, but since then we have all supported and accepted each other subconsciously.

We have created many families on this trip. We have created families with Akash and Suraj, the Bajaj Foundation, the Women’s Collaborative, the Visions students, the Olcott students, and the Avanti students. Families are communities where you love and respect each other. I feel so lucky to have not only made friends but also created families on this trip.

-Marie Avilez


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