The clouds decorated the sky like soft white pillows on a freshly made bed as I drove to work after a refreshing break at Yellow Dog Bread. Johnny Cash's deep, baritone voice filled my car as I strategically sipped my coffee to keep it from splashing on my white blouse. As I was belting June Carter's part in "Baby Ride Easy", Carly's name popped onto my phone. For the past year, Carly and I would talk while she drove to work in San Francisco so we could dream of creative ways to collaborate across the miles. When I answered, her voice was filled with joy and excitement. Before I could ask what was going on she said, "Tay, would you want to go to India to help me create content for an orphanage?" Without thinking or blinking, I said yes.
After buying my plane ticket, I put the thought of India aside to finish planning Appetite for Art, which was part of my world for over a year. I had no room in my brain to think about India or why I was going. I just knew I wanted to go and create beautiful content with Carly to give voice to the voiceless. When the curtain fell on Appetite for Art, I had more time to think about India and to contemplate why I chose to embark on this incredible journey. I needed to ask myself some serious questions to make sure my heart was in the right place, so I took some time to be still.
In the stillness of my thoughts, I began to wonder what difference I would make in the lives of women and young boys across the world, seeing that my time in India would be the equivalent of a grain of salt in the ocean. I would leave and their lives would continue to fight to survive in a culture that defines who they will be from birth. One day as I was scrolling through Tribe Alive's Pinterest boards, I saw a quote from Mother Teresa. (Cliché, I know.) During her time serving the world she said, "If you can't feed a hundred people, feed just one." My heart started to settle, and I was reminded that giving one person food, love, and kind words is enough to establish hope for a lifetime. Hope is a positive fuel that allows us to survive when we are caught in the slums of life. This, I realized, was why I was going to India.
Although I know why Carly, Kyle, and I are spending 10 days in Shiloh, India, we still have to make sure we do not make this experience about our own gain. Yes, we are using our skills to serve others. We are creating content for the orphanage's social media and blog to enhance their voice. You will see pictures on social media from our trip, but I don't want these photos to scream, "Look at us and our adventure," because that is not what it's about. This is about creating and building hope. I will share our journey with you simply to encourage you to have hope that what you do to serve one person (even if it's for one day) is enough medicine to heal the soul.