The Brightest Light

In two more days, I will go to Forbesgunge, flying from Chicago to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Kolkata, Kolkata to Baghdogra, then a three hour taxi journey to my final destination, Forbesgunge.  It is a place where only 20% of the population has electricity; only 16% has indoor plumbing; spiders the size of your hand are common.

I have been asked repeatedly by my good friends and family:  why THERE?

Here is my response:  Because the brightest light often comes from the darkest places.

Please watch this video of Apne Aap that explains better the mission of the organization that I am going to assist.  Really, after you see it, you will not question why I would go –  I hope you would question why I would not.


  1. Geneva Murphy said,

    August 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Thank you for going!
    Blessings, honor & protection!

  2. Pali Raj said,

    August 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    you have elaborated fact a little!! that was not necessary!! whatever, your mission is welfare and that is a good thing to mention!!!

  3. C L B said,

    August 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Found your blog through Nick Kristof’s tweet today. Good luck to you as you take off on this grand and important adventure. I’ll be watching the blogs from Washington DC for updates. Hope your arms feel better.

  4. Sriram said,

    August 3, 2010 at 12:36 am

    All the best!

  5. Shai said,

    August 3, 2010 at 1:40 am

    I also found you through Nick Kristof and commend you for going. I wrote about you on my website, “Why India?” in a post about if it matters to volunteer overseas. The link:
    Take care.

  6. rose said,

    August 3, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I found your blog through tumblr and just wanted to say how amazing and inspiring this is already. I’ll be reading. 🙂 have a great flight and good luck!! the world needs more people like you!

  7. Bill said,

    August 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    We’ll miss you, Belle! I hope you don’t encounter too many giant spiders. Good luck!

  8. Global Goods Partners said,

    August 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    So happy to have found this blog from Nick Kristof’s tweet! This is an incredible mission and we’ll definitely be following your adventure. Best of luck!

    Empowering women is a focus point to alleviate poverty and promote social justice! Our organization supports this objective by providing an online marketplace to sell the goods of women artisans in developing countries all around the world.

  9. Anjali said,

    August 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Best of luck in bringing about the most positive change possible to these girls. You are doing a great thing!

  10. Belle said,

    August 5, 2010 at 3:55 am


  11. Belle said,

    August 5, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Hi, Cecilia. Thanks for your support! The arms got back to normal after about two days; small price to pay for avoiding some nasty bugs!

  12. Belle said,

    August 5, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Shai, thanks so much. Enjoyed what you wrote. Pretty cool.

  13. Belle said,

    August 5, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Almost there…Thanks!

  14. Belle said,

    August 5, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Hey, Eill, thanks. I’.. take lots of pictures of the spiders for you. And Shan, of course. : )

  15. Belle said,

    August 5, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Wherever and however, doesn’t matter, just do something, right? That is one of the problems these young ladies face is that their economic prospects are so limited. Chauvinism here is alive and well. If you haven’t read it already, pick up “Half the Sky” and read about how one woman in Pakistan change the fortunes of her family through embroidery. Best of luck to you and your efforts.

  16. Belle said,

    August 5, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Thanks so much! I’ll do my best!

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