Postcard From Goa – August 2011

Goa in India hasn’t lost any of it’s charm, flavour or colour.

Not sure what it was like 500 years ago when St Francis Xavier had such an impact on it. An impact that would reverberate around the world from that day to this in terms of putting what he was teaching into a local language form meaningful to the locals rather than expecting them to follow some party line/dogma for which they had no understanding or cultural reference points.

My respect for the qualities of the man has increased greatly. Not only did his body not corrupt /break down for many years and until other humans decided to eviscerate it, but also his mission/calling was not corrupted by the temptations of wealth and personal comforts that seduced so many of those who had both preceded him and followed him. We still have a lot to learn from his example and the compassion and respect with which he treated the downtrodden and the weakest in the community.

Others’ Comments

A gentle introduction to India that defies the negative stereotypes of the country and ultimately charms you because of the ever-present, beautiful smiles of the locals.

Having seen Goa in the wet season, I wonder at St Francis Xavierís endurance and devotion to God..

There was a theme of weaving. Bold coloured thread into fine silks, subtle spirituality into daily life and mad drivers on every mode of transport.

Great food and taste sensations although sometimes challenging on the system.

Wet!

Others’ Comments – The Overall Journey

Chaotic, colourful, challenging and changing. A big journey all round. Unforgettable. I felt the most common theme for me was the warmth and kindness of all the people we met, in every country we visited. All colours, creeds and religions melded into one. We are all the same. People.

We visited so many different cultures and could easily have focussed negatively on their differences. Instead I feel we celebrated and revelled in it.

Lessons in choice Ė itís my choice whether to feel the positive or the negative and where to put my focus. While I now understand this at a deeper level the real work for me lies in trying to put this into action back home.

I thought that I was very independent, however, this trip has revealed that I have been quite dependent on others for a variety of things, including approval, which is not actually necessary and I will grow stronger as a result of identifying this.

Arohanui
Peter

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