We just spent a week in India visiting orphans in such places as Bangalore and Puliangudi. During the trip I wrote in my travel journal about what we were doing and seeing. I attempted to process the place and the people. And language fell short.

It still falls short.

How do you describe orphan boys squeezing your arm and pushing on your skin in fascination with your color?

Creamy brown fingers tickle my pale underarm. Giggles erupt.

How do you describe the traffic patterns?

It’s not driving, it’s dance.

How do you describe the Indian hospitality of a home-cooked meal in the kitchen of an orphanage?

We sit at her table as she brings roasted chicken and rice and ice cream. And she waits till we’re done to eat.

How do you describe driving through your hometown when you return?

All the buildings are laid out as if planned. The grass is green and without litter.

How do you describe a place like India?

It must be seen to be believed.