The Faces of Gujarat, India
I discovered that everything I'd heard about India is true. It is colorful. It is chaotic. It attacks all of your senses. Landing in Ahmedabad, the capital city of Gujarat, India's westernmost state, I was swept up by the street scenes, the temples and the constant motion of tuk tuks, bikes and people. But as I explored more of the surrounding villages, I realized that the essence of everything is the Indian people. They always welcomed me with ready smiles and warm greetings.
These women were preparing chapatis, an unleavened flatbread, to offer us as we visited an ironworker's shop who handmakes all kinds of bells.
These men live in a small village and asked that their photo be taken. They gave us a tour of their homes and offered us chai.
This woman demonstrated how to make cotton thread at the Gandhi ashram. She guided us through the rooms and complimented me on my dress, which she mistook to be Indian (it was an African design).
These school children greeted us when we arrived in their Bhuj village. They sang for us and asked for pens, which I had plenty of to pass out. The knowing smile of the teenage girl really captured me. She watched quietly as the children scrambled around but her personality stood out clearly, just as the spirit of India stood out in all of the faces we met.