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At Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, we had a candlelight ceremony, with the intention of decompressing after such an uphill climb and with the intention of bringing love to a place historically hit with such pain. Again, we were given full access to the space.

BicyclerickshawsThe following day, we headed out on foot toward the border. Our team – Yoo-Mi, Mark, Jocelyn, Loveleen, Vandana, Avani, Marielle, Roberta, Raj, and I – walked for two days along with “The World’s Largest Love Letter,” and thousands of letters from Indian kids, all carried on six bicycle rickshaws.

When we got to the border, our visas had not been granted yet and so we had to wait. The timing of the delay, however, seemed synchronistic as it happened to coincide with the official launching of the IndoPak Peace Bus. Prime Minister Singh himself was coming up to Amritsar to see it off.

In our characteristic style, we managed to finesse a press release from the Prime Minister, thanking the children of India for participating in this letter-writing program, and also thanking Friends Without Borders for making it happen.

Although the timing seemed perfect, we later found out that our visas which had finally been granted could not be picked up because it was a Pakistani holiday and the embassy was closed. Our time to set up for our huge event in Lahore was becoming seriously jeopardized. In our characteristic style, however…back in Delhi… Maria did the only thing she could – she found out where the employees of the embassy were living and went to their quarters. With a few tears, the doors were opened, the visas delivered, and Maria hopped on a plane for Amritsar and joined us, as we crossed the border just on the tail of the Peace Bus.

PorterAt Wagah Border, we pulled out a border piece from “The Love Letter” and laid it out for the waiting media to enjoy.

It took 45 Indian and Pakistani porters to carry The Love Letter across the border and they all did it voluntarily, in spirit of the mission behind it.

When we finally crossed, due to the delays and due to some rain, much of the crowds that had been planning to greet our arrival had dissipated. Still, Aamir Rafique, of the Goethe Zentrum German Cultural Center, who was spearheading the Friends Without Borders effort in Pakistan, was there with reporters, TV crews, a live band and some friends, including a team of pretty, young Pakistani women. Our entry was a joyous and jubilant celebration.

Though we planned to walk to Lahore, our time had now become shortened significantly and so we were whisked to our new headquarters, ready to begin our humble little Tour d’Pakistan.

Photos by Maria Durana.


The end of my time in India is quickly closing in. People keep asking me how I’m going to be able to deal with the transition. It’s a question a lot of people here are also asking themselves. In many ways, I feel pretty fortunate in that I have an answer and am prepared for the change.

In many ways, I clearly have found a niche here in India. I can bring a lot of positive change. I’m sure the same is true everywhere, but here in particular, it seems to be within grasp.

transitions_1India is alive in ways that America is not. It’s a place that awakens something within. I am startled by the broad changes that have taken place here since my first trip back in 1988, I think. The deep base of spirituality which used to be so pervasive is being replaced with the same materialism that has robbed America of its life. Probably the largest motive behind my coming to India was to do what I could to help protect this blessed spirituality that I sensed was in peril.

For better or worse, I have let go and am accepting the changes as they come. If India is to lose her spirituality, then perhaps it will emerge in another place. All we can ever really do is try to keep our own internal flames lit as brightly as possible and work to bring positive change wherever we are.

I think India is positioned to become the next world leader. It is only a matter of time. As it matures into this position, one can only hope that the undercurrents of spirit will come along, and I am pretty certain that these currents run deep enough that the world is in good hands.

The way I have come to terms with my own transition back to the States is in my understanding that it really all does come back to being true to yourself. This is the constant that is always present wherever you find yourself. We can’t always control our circumstances, but we can always keep ourselves in check within our ever-changing surroundings, reaching in to that which is most genuine and offering that sincerity as a gift.

I was explaining this thought to someone here in Ahmedabad and she said that it’s hard because so many people have expectations of us and to be true means to go against the many expectations of others. I told her that the challenging feelings and sensations we face in these situations is actually the experience of the world itself changing. In boldly staying real in these situations, we are taking on the karma of the world and bringing about change for the better. Besides, our fears are often misguided and in challenging them, often it yields unexpected positive results – in time eliciting respect and appreciation and allowing others to follow along the same lines with less difficulty.

This is all much easier spoken than lived. I, for one, feel these terrors all the time and very often fail to rise above them. It’s an ongoing process and we can only hope to do our best. I am ready to come back to America. Whatever happens, for better or worse, simply is what it is. These changing moments are good practice for how to remain true under all circumstances. See you soon! :)