Well, first off, we had another kid. More on that later, because that’s a story that needs to be written. And even though he’s now crawling and trying to walk waaaaay too early for my liking, I can’t let this kid’s birth story be the only one that goes unpublished, even if he is talking by the time it finally gets written. PAUSE FOR MOM GUILT MOMENT. And while having a fourth kid is excuse enough for not writing, I do believe, it actually isn’t what killed this blog.
It all started with a little diplomatic incident in New York that blew up in Delhi and changed the entire direction of our tour in India. As part of all the madness that happened people that we knew at the embassy had their social media accounts hacked and things they had posted about India in their “private” accounts were suddenly being splashed across the news mostly because they were not super complimentary to their host country. After it happened I no longer felt safe telling the truth – because the truth is that not everything that ever happened to me in India was positive. I didn’t love every minute I spent there. I spent many minutes frustrated, alone, and, in the case of a tuk tuk ride that started taking a sexually harassing turn, scared. But because of the things that happened in December 2013/January 2014 I really didn’t feel free talking about anything and everything and so I didn’t want to write at all.
One of the great things about being American that I never realized until I left the country is how free we are to complain. And we take full advantage of this right! I’ve been listening to talk radio and news radio again as I drive and, oh, man, do Americans complain and criticize and see so much wrong with what’s going on in our country, on both sides of the aisle.
Freedom of speech is something that we take for granted in this country, so much so that I worry that it is starting to erode. That instead of encouraging and appreciating debate and differing opinions we’re starting to punish those that go against the grain more so than we have before in our history. “I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it” seems to be going the way of the dinosaur in our country which is unfortunate because how strong can an idea or a belief really be when all it does is bounce around an echo chamber? Anyway, that’s also probably another topic for another day.
The point of all this is, I’m back in America now and even though it is, probably, not going to be as exciting an assignment as our last one, I’ll probably be writing lots more. Because this is the land of the free and I can (rightfully) criticize Maryland drivers all I want.