Download or read book Tiger Heart PDF or another Format written by Katrell Christie and published by Health Communications, Inc.. This book was released on 2015-10-06 with total page 234 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Katrell Christie was a thirty-something former art student turned roller-derby rebel who opened a tea shop in Atlanta. Barely two years later, her life would make a drastic change and so would the lives of a group of girls half a world away. I chose the name of my tea shop—Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party—because it sounded whimsical. India wasn't a part of the equation. Not even remotely. I didn't do yoga. I had no deep yearning to see the Taj Mahal or tour Hindu temples. I was not harboring some spiritual desire to follow the path of the Buddha. Indian food? I could take it or leave it. But a regular customer, Cate, described a trip she'd taken there as a Rotary Club scholar. She was planning to go again to work with a women's handicraft exchange. Her enthusiasm was infectious. "You should come," she said after breezing into the shop one day. I didn't give it much thought. I figured she wanted me, the former rollergirl, there as the muscle. I was a new business owner with work stretching for as far as I could see . . . But Katrell did go. She toured the tea fields of Darjeeling, witnessed the Hindu throngs at the Ganges, and helped string pearls in religiously conservative Hyderabad where Cate was working to help market jewelry. As we work, I watch. Some women shed their coverings when they enter the workroom but others remain fully covered, only a glimpse of eyes visible. It's disconcerting. I'm a Southern girl. My mother taught me to throw out a big friendly smile to the world. But with these women—their faces cloaked—I get nothing back. I can't connect. Even worse, I can't get my mind off the idea that no matter what these women do, they will never get off this path. I had never wrapped my brain around that until I sit here, hour after hour, stringing pearls. Pearls that would be worn by some other woman, on a bare and lovely neck, with a dazzling smile and a bright future stretching out before her. I'm pretty sure that this is the most depressed I've ever been in my life. Katrell had no idea at the time, but she would find a new purpose in India, and in the most unlikely way, her life would be eternally entwined with women from a whole new world. While in Darjeeling, Katrell met some girls at an orphanage who would very soon "age out" without any place to go. Their immediate futures were grim: sex trafficking, prostitution, or begging on the streets. Returning home, Katrell just couldn't forget the girls she left behind in Darjeeling, and before long, "The Learning Tea" was born. Today, The Learning Tea has provided life necessities for eleven young women—a safe home, education, uniforms, medical care, as well as music lessons, tutoring, computer classes, and other extracurricular activities. Another center may be on the horizon in Chennai. All because one unlikely hero with a little tea shop in Atlanta, Georgia, stepped forward and said, "I'll go."