Disorientation…and goodbyes :(

After six weeks together the group is now starting to disperse one by one. Sonny and Rachel depart at 9pm tonight, while Hannah leaves at 4am. Sanjna will be leaving tomorrow morning, and Anika, Arielle, and myself are off tomorrow night.

It is hard to believe that six weeks in India have come and gone so fast. It seems like just a few days ago we were all strangers anticipating the adventures India would have awaiting for us. Now we all know each other so well and saying goodbye just does not seem right. Each city we visited has had its own vibe and culture, which is the amazing part about India. It is such an extreme country and you never know what to expect. Sometimes even finding an internet cafe can take an entire day and by the time you find one it will be closing in five minutes. Other days you just happen to sit in the right rickshaw and can get a list of six tasks comepleted in under an hour. This is the charm about India.

We have all made amazing friends in every city we have visited. Lenin and David in Chennai, Raj and Jesu in Pondi, Tim and Asha in Bangalore, Ummed Shaktawat in Jaipur, and Ajay in Delhi. These people have all shown us what each city has to offer and they have all made us feel completely at home.

If there is one thing India has taught each and every one of us it is hospitality. Locals here take you in as if you are one of them immediately. They don’t ask any questions, if you need help they are always there to provide it. It is physically impossible to get lost in India for too long because the people here are so helpful. Sonny and I did not have to look at a map once for this entire six weeks.

It is crazy how important social networking is in this country. Each place we found to stay in India has been through a friend who knows a friend who knows a friend whose mom works with a guy who happens to run a guesthouse. The people here take you in like you are family. They feed you and house you while expecting nothing in return.

Our team has experienced this hospitality first hand for six weeks. We have made amazing friends, turned into family for each other, toured some of the most beautiful sites to see (Amber Fort, Mahabalipuram, the Taj, Matrimandir in Auroville, Agra Fort, etc), walked through the slums of Bangalore, taught to kids from the slums, and built a rainwater tank for a rural school. Our time here has been outstanding and every individual on this trip is walking away with an experience that they will never forget.

We have all fallen in love with India.