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Heading Home, Farewell to

After 2 years and countless it is time to go back home to the States. This is the toughest I have had to write. I have emotions about going

India has without a doubt an impact on us – some positive and negative. As they say, can take the boy out of India, but can’t the India out of the boy.”


India has been a challenging to live, but we have grown from it. It has forced us to reconsider the in our lives. to simplify and enjoy the We realize that we do not need a lot of to be happy.

We have been to live without a lot such as power, clean water, (which is a big deal for me), parks and more. We have these challenges though and that the most important is to be healthy and together as a family. and have a good internet

Lucky to be American Citizens

We are to be moving back to the US – the entire seems like a 5 star to us after living in India. We are forward to being back in the of good and plenty. While the US is not we truly appreciate our country and the and freedoms it affords all its citizens.

We never been more to be an American citizen. At the same it has given all of us a perspective on the importance on good global citizens and our to improve the entire world we in as we are all interconnected (regardless of the barriers and governments try erect.)


A not so positive impact is that we become aggressive and loud. In a that is so crowded you can be heard and in your daily life if you the loudest. Moreover, as evidenced in blog the rules usually no sense and change constantly. that with the incompetence of the government and agencies we have to always question and debate the

This can be a good skill to on occasion but we are going to have to to pick our battles.

What is Charity?

Seeing the abject poverty contrasted the exceeding wealth over the two years has caused us to question the and integrity of charity. All too often we seen money wasted or by charitable organizations and never get to it is intended to help. As a result, we taken on more personal endeavors such as sponsoring a scholarship or handing out clothes to the worker children who cheer us on our runs.

This is much satisfying but still has its pitfalls. One of our literally adopted a small school that was not much than a one room school built out of a tarp. Laura involved in assisting the school by books and supplies. The kids and were thrilled by all this.

one day the school was burned to the ground. by neighbors who were jealous of the the school was getting was the suspected It is already a seemingly overwhelming when you experience the vastness of the but when the society appears to charitable efforts it can be outright Because of this, we are very about the best way to continue endeavors.

We will continue, we believe it is important, but will out more personal and locally efforts where we know the is being delivered directly to who need it. For example, Laura worked with the Tom Shoes to distribute shoes to local The company delivers on its promise of a shoe to a needy child for shoe it sells.

India has made an impact on the kids. I for the first time they appreciate how lucky they are to ben born in a country that is not the oldest democracy but still the successful. The kids have that there are many that do not have right to (India only has free to 5th grade), clean water, clothing, shoes, electricity and equality.

I hope they take these rights for

They have become more independent and self I did not think it is possible, but they become even more readers with Aidan, in the footsteps of his big brother and sister, now in the of reading the Harry Potter (he is only 7.) They will their school, Mosaica School dearly. They the founding 3 students of the school and leap of faith paid of.

In less than 2 years, all made leaps and bounds in academic careers and are well for the future. The school had a special this morning to wish farewell. They made touching powerpoint presentation:

The will miss their and friends at Mosaica

The kids also enjoyed traveling and India and the region. They can go any immigration office on their own is pretty funny to see: and Abigail barely reaching the counter to hand over passports to the immigration officer. are immensely adaptable. We can bring to any park in the world and within 15 they will be running and playing with all the local (of course now Ben is discussing Mindcraft and games with the other more than playing on the

Finally, they have even closer. There been many occasions they just have other. In these times, will still play be it horsing around in the pool or a game of Apples to Apples.

it all they are still planning to a room when we return to our in Suwanee.

People, Culture and New

The most positive aspect of the has been the people we have met and the culture. My wife and I have fascinated with Indian since we lived in Singapore and immersed in it has been terrific. The culture and food is what I most about being an While cultural and language can sometimes complicate communication and good people are good regardless of cultural and language.

We are to have met good friends all the world. The great thing living in the 21st century is with social media we get to in touch with all our friends no were we are. The amazing about expats is that we are all flexible so it is never a trouble to someone drop in for a visit on a notice.

So, as we enjoy our favorite pastime of we also get to meet and reconnect our friends. That is a special gift from our time abroad.

While we have many aspects of Indian there are things that frustrate and shock us (well to, not necessarily any more.) There is a gap in equality in India – between the and non-educated (which is directly to the wealth gap) and the between the

While India has a reputation for some of the brightest scientists and (which is true) the majority of the has little to no education. One of the biggest to me was learning that there is no or free education after the 5th in India. As a result, only the upper classes (and a lucky number who get scholarships) the ability to have a full

That minority seems a lot externally as a minority of a billion people is still a big number. internally this results in a population that is quiet ignorant and easily manipulated by politicians and unscrupulous business This is the single biggest holding back India in my

If addressed, issues such as corruption and gender inequality (my topic) would be mitigated as

The other key issue in India is the of female equality. The western has widely publicized the seemly brutal rapes within Unfortunately, the poor treatment and towards women is correct and not Women are absolutely treated as the …. Men will openly and stare at women especially if is any amount of skin showing as an ankle.

In fact, it is routine to in the paper that it was the rape fault because she was wearing a or a provocative clothing such as The treatment goes beyond crimes as well. When for a credit card a man must his father on the application.

A women list their husband. can not make any official decision or any official document – which me crazy as she is responsible for the majority (. ok of the household decisions. Yet I have to be at the office to sign a check or out all of our moving documentation for customs.

It is offensive in this day and age. and a in my ….

Closer as a Family

We experienced extreme highs and during our journey in India, is a perfect description for the country. is no middle or average in India. It is a of extremes. In the end, though, the outweighed the lows and we are stronger for it.

We are a family, and we are a stronger couple. and I honestly feel that is no challenge now that we can not deal or overcome. We have also the importance of appreciating what you and living in the moment.

These are life lessons that benefit us in all our days to come.

So India and thank you.

been a While

First, let me for not blogging in quite a while. It has a crazy year so far as we get ready to back to the US in June (Yea!) In I took on additional responsibilities of my new job I repatriate (thus two roles for Combine that with to get in our last big trips before we (including Benjamin’s Bar Mitzvah in in November) did not leave a lot of time for the I am back now though – like it or

With only a few months living in India has gotten me a reflective mood. but I will that for a future post as I am reflecting. We will focus post on getting up to speed on has been going on here in and our travels.

The fall was dominated by for Benjamin’s Bar Mitzvah. This had one of my biggest concerns when we the assignment in Hyderabad. How would we the kids Jewish education and for Benjamin’s Bar Mitzvah?

We are literally the Jewish family in Hyderabad. was an Israeli family that we very friendly with year but the moved back to We then found two other families this year but one back to the US already as well.

As a result, we were on our own for Jewish and Bar Mitzvah preparation. We found an Sunday school program the Afikim Foundation. ( ) has allowed the kids to maintain Jewish education and identity has been great. However, we needed to solve the issue of the Bar

I was lucky to find a wonderful in Israel who helped arrange the as well as provide training to The majority of the training was done by himself studying his haftorah and listening to the mp3’s sent by the (no more cassette tapes I used for my Bar Mitzvah.) To Ben’s (I guess he listened to Laura and my reminders for him to study), he did a great job his Haftorah. A modern day self Jewish Abe Lincoln!

Albeit Torah via the PC instead of reading by candlelight. We were all very with his performance.

The Bar Mitzvah was at an organic restaurant in the western outside of Jerusalem. It was a beautiful and setting held in a wooden and covered outdoor patio the hills – sort of like a or big crunchy Chuppah.

As with in our lives, there was lots of leading up to the Bar Mitzvah as the war in Gaza exploded a few days before we supposed to leave!  Luckily, the day we all arrived in Israel, Hillary that is) flew in and negotiated a It was a Bar Mitzvah miracle.

I tried to Hillary and invite her to the Bar Mitzvah but my kept getting returned.

Benjamin had a terrific Bar Mitzvah both sets of Grandparents, of our from Hyderabad (who to come along and join the crazy train Israel for a week) and our Israeli friends who back from Hyderabad year. It turned out to be very for Benjamin as well as all of us.

This has the year of “once in a lifetime” (as if last year, our first in was not enough.) Laura and I learned the way a few years ago that you never what life has in stored for you the passing away of a good of ours far too young. Thus we a pact to live in the now – we probably of never come to India

Given this is our last in Asia we decided to take of being in the region and crossing off of our “bucket list” trips. At the top of list was visiting the origins of Africa.

Over Christmas and New we toured the national parks of including the expansive Maasai It was incredible. We never need to go to zoo again as we saw so many animals. See for!1296authkey=!ADWG21nppaj8X8U

We recently just an adventure trip cycling Bangkok, Thailand to Angkor Cambodia. It was an awesome trip in we cycled over 220km 5 days. The kids all did great. We joined on the trip by one of the kids’ and the same friends that to Israel with us (having not enough of traveling with the

We used a great cycling company called Grasshopper They provided the tour guide and two vans followed us the entire way (I felt the POTUS having two unmarked constantly trailing us.) The of the tour company even us for the half of the trip. We got to experience of Thailand and Cambodia that tourist never see including at local’s houses for water and using their bathroom/outhouses – were surprisingly very


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