On May 1st, my 28th birthday, Aaron touched my arm with his wet fingers after having dipped them into the ‘holy’ waters from the Hooghly river (a branch of the Ganges). I was being blessed. oh I was blessed indeed.

The day started with 45 minute a public bus ride to the Howrah train station–India’s oldest and largest railway station. We got off to stumble onto probably (like) a million people. That is when Enda said that we were NOT going to go into the Howrah station that day–I was not let down.

At the station we met sweet Nabanita, a school teacher from the Hope Foundation who joined us for the day.

All along I had no clue what the guys had planned for me, since it was supposed to be a surprise. After a few minutes of walking we came to a pier and next to it, a ferry. Happy birthday to me!


On the other side of the Hooghly we jumped into a small wooden boat that gave a short ride along the river’s edge