[image: f793543d-319c-4b49-9900-11480ddb6ab2 (1).JPG]

Sometimes, life presents us with coincidences and connections that almost
seem unbelievable. At the beginning of my time in India, my host mom told
me that she was going to take a three-week trip to the United States and
Canada, both to see family and for work purposes (she works for an
American-based company). It turns out that the office she was working at
was only a half-hour away from my own home in the US. Immediately after we
made this discovery, we started planning for her to have dinner at my
house, and to meet my real family for the first time. To add on to this,
she was actually leaving to come back to India the morning after the dinner
with my parents, so they offered her to spend the night at our house so she
wouldn’t have to wake up so early to catch her flight. She ended up
sleeping in my empty room.

Although this happened in September, almost six months ago, I’ve been
thinking about it more recently. Looking back, I realize how lucky I truly
was that we were able to have this two-way exchange, and that my family was
able to give our home and try to show her the same kind of hospitality that
she has shown me, even if only for a single day. It also helped me to see
this last year as not just a one-sided experience that I’ve had, but a
cross-continental connection that has been created, and that will last for
years after I return. My host mom has already invited me back for when my
two brothers get married, and I know that whenever she (or any of them)
come to the United States, they are more than welcome to stay at our house.
In this way, this year was only the beginning of the connection between our
two families, a connection that I will continue to value and cherish for
the rest of my life.