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Synopsis

Mommy, When Are We Going Home? relates a longing to return to the place of one’s childhood. Responding to this yearning, at the age of forty, Crystle leaves Canada and her family to travel back to the rural India of her childhood.

There she discovers that the villagers have suffered greatly and she vows to make a difference. Crystle returns to Canada and immediately develops a number of sustainable social justice initiatives. However, she soon realizes that her Western mindset is colouring her decisions and that buying another buffalo or latrine will not solve the problems. In an effort to better understand the problems faced by the Dalits, she decides to return to the village in Northern Punjab for a six-month stay.

Living in a mud house without running water or electricity, Crystle learns to deal with limited privacy and being a solo white woman traveller. With laughter and tears, she copes with cultural gaffes and travel mishaps, all the while volunteering in a local school and building her education scholarship program.

But she faces heartbreaking challenges from the Indian family that she and her mother have supported for nearly forty years and, after a followup visit in 2009, Crystle leaves disheartened . . . but not disillusioned.

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