My trip to India by Sister Donisia
During this past year of preparation, before my perpetual profession, I was asked to go to India for some time for that preparation. Initially, the prospect of leaving the Gambia and Senegal my homeland that I was so familiar with, to travel to India thousands of kms away, really frightened me. For several months, almost every day, I was obsessed with the decision to accept this challenge while telling myself that after all it was for six months so only half a year!
Finally, the day of departure arrived. I left Dakar on Pentecost Sunday morning, with a heavy heart. As I was about to leave, Sister Émerence came out of her room to say au revoir and to encourage me: "Courage, she said, everything will be fine, do not miss your flight." Sisters Raymonde and Monique who were to accompany me to the airport, were waiting for me already in the car with my luggage. I hastened to go down and then we were on our way! At the airport, I picked up my luggage, and said goodbye. Now I was alone to face the formalities and wait for the departure at 8 a.m. However, the flight was half hour late.
The first stop was in Bamako, Mali, and the second stopover was in Addis Ababa where I waited for three hours to get my Delhi flight connection. The plane landed at 8: 30 am with time to get my next flight to Visakhapatnam which was due to arrive after 15 00 pm. After such a long journey it was a relief to see two sisters waiting for me and we set out immediately for the provincial house. On arrival the sisters gave me a warm welcome with songs and flowers. Then finally I could freshen up before dinner, what a comfort! I spent two weeks at Visakhapatnam. Then my course in preparation for my vows began with a retreat for a month and ended mid-September.
I spent the next two weeks visiting the communities of Bhubaneswar, our second Province in India. I returned to Senegal on October 3rd 2017. The irony is that I went to India with a heavy heart of anxiety, but now I leave India with a heavy heart, that is sad to leave all the new friends whom I will miss so much. Nonetheless I shall never forget the wonderful moments spent with them. I know much better now the richness of Indian culture and its diverse population. The Indian sisters have a saying: "Every 100 meters, the water changes" and this refers to the many languages spoken. Indian people are known for their attachment to their culture and their efforts to preserve it.
I will keep forever a wonderful memory of my stay in India. The retreat/course was excellent and spiritually nourishing. The whole experience was really beneficial for my preparation for my perpetual profession. My thanks to our Superior General, Sister Pauline, her Council, and the two Provincial Superiors of India who made my stay such a pleasant and successful experience.