Holton in India '13 Group 1
Even before I got on the bus to Dulles on July 30th, I knew that my journey to India this summer would be different from any experience I'd ever had and maybe ever would have. Although this entire trip will remain in my memories forever, there were a few particular moments that truly made this opportunity one to remember. One moment that sticks out in my mind was when we visited CORD (Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development). One person who spoke to us, Dr. Didi, really made me think because of two questions she had for us. She asked "who are you?" and "what is love?" It got me thinking about what truly defines me. Love doesn't only mean two people loving each other, it also includes love for the community. Another moment that particularly stood out for me was when we worked with the young children at Molar Bund. Teaching children is one of my passions, and just knowing that I made a difference in their lives (even the smallest bit) pleases me. After I asked them a few questions about themselves, they bombarded me with questions just so they could practice their English. The children I worked with read me a book, almost entirely themselves, and I was thoroughly impressed. Keep in mind these were 7 year old Indian children, and it was not an easy book. It's hard for me to think this trip is almost over, but I cannot wait to see the way these experiences in India affect my life in America. I've loved bonding with my family Shree and I'll miss this trip so much.
I have always loved traveling, and that was one of the many reasons I chose to come to India. However this trip is so much more than the stamp in my passport can indicate. I have had an incredible experience, and I am going back an updated version of myself as the Buddhist monk would say. We have heard from some amazing, inspiring, thought-provoking speakers, from the monk to Dr. Didi to Tenzin. We have seen some astoundingly beautiful sights, from the Golden Temple to the Taj Mahal. We have even had the opportunity to participate in and enjoy some exciting cultural experiences, from running the flags at the Wagah Border to wood painting to Bollywood dancing. I will take away a lot of lessons and memories from this trip. I have learned so much about myself, India, and the world we live in. I have absorbed messages of hope and strength in the face of adversity. I have also had a ton of fun bonding with the other members of the Family Shree. From watching English Vinglish to singing loudly and enthusiastically in Pizza Hut, I have made many unforgettable memories on the trip. I can't wait to share my experience with my family and friends back home. I had an unforgettable, amazing time in India and I am so thankful to everyone who made this possible.
Last summer, I never imagined I'd travel to India on Global Ed. Now, I can't imagine not having gone on the trip. It opened my eyes to a different lifestyle and taught me lessons that I'll apply to my life back home. The Buddhist monk and NGO speakers inspired me to appreciate happiness and make a difference in my community. I will always remember the feeling of walking into the Wagah Border stadium. The nationalism and excitement I felt from everyone was truly invigorating. I wanted to stay there all day listening to the music and cheers! All of the experiences I had in India made for a great way to spend my summer.
The trip has been life changing. From hearing all of the inspiring stories and great advice from the people working at the NGOs to working with the children at the Arpana school in Molar Bund, I have enjoyed every experience. One of the experiences that I loved was the Bollywood dancing sessions. Although I didn't participate in the first one because I wasn't feeling well I still had fun watching everyone. But the real fun came in the second and third lesson when I got to dance. Usually I don't dance and don't want to try something where I may look foolish or embarrass myself, but during the dancing I forgot about all of that and just had fun. I loved how good the dancing made me feel and how much fun it was just to dance with my friends. Overall the trip has really helped push my boundaries and has helped me become more confident in myself.
First and foremost, India has been an incredible experience. I was initially tentative about traveling to a new country with a culture completely different from my own. However, I knew that I was in safe hands and no harm would come my way. Although, in some ways, the universe betrayed me. Getting sick is never an enjoyable experience but getting sicker than I have been in years in a foreign country away from my parents was a different sort of experience. While I was sick I could only think of my house and my bed and how much I would love to be there at that moment. At that point, I was completely done with India. However, when my fever settled I felt like I gained a new perspective. I found a new appreciation for the beautiful country I got to see and enjoy. For the remainder of our trip I kept my eyes open for new challenges and fun and I feel like I had a different trip in the last week. I was more aware of the limited time we had here in this amazing country and that helped me make more of the experience that I hope to bring back to my family and Holton community alike.
India has been such a great experience for me. I have never been to a place so different from the US and it opened up my eyes to how different the world could be. I will always remember all the beautiful temples and religions I didn't know too much about. This trip will stay with me because of how different this has been from anything I have ever done. I loved being in India and I hope I get to come back here. I feel like everyone loved the Taj Mahal because it is one of those places you hear about in tales and myths but being there is indescribable. A picture can't capture the beauty and detail of the architecture. Mom, I know you wanted to know when I was at the Taj Mahal because you knew I would love it. Your daughter is a global citizen now and I want to travel more now that I had this experience.
I can't believe it's time to come home! The past two weeks I have spent in India have been incredible. I am truly thankful for all the people I have met, the places I have seen, and the lessons I have learned. Some highlights of my trip include our visit to the Taj Mahal, our Bollywood dance classes, and our visit to the designer. My experiences and adventures in India are some that I will never forget and thank you to all who made this amazing trip possible!
I really enjoyed the influential people we met during our time at Dharamsala. Dr. Didi, Tenzin Tsundue, and the monk inspired me to reflect on my life and to update myself. My favorite attractions were the Golden Temple and the Taj Mahal. Both of these attractions were breathtaking. My favorite activity throughout the trip was interacting with different people. The preschoolers at Norbulinka impressed us all with their knowledge from such a young age. The Sikh boys at the orphanage were incredibly talented. Talking to the students at Molar bund was definitely a highlight of our trip. It was interesting to compare and contrast American culture and Indian culture. I want to spend more time at Molar Bund because the students are so willing to learn and are driven to work hard and be successful. Our Bollywood dancing was the most entertaining activity. We had so much fun learning the dance moves and spending time with our dance instructors. The Shree group bonded so well and I will never forget our parties, bus rides, ANCHOR's and dinners. Thank you for such a wonderful trip.
Even though we've stayed for 2 weeks, it feels like we've been here for less! The Indian culture and surroundings are so vibrant and different to anything I've seen in the States that it takes time to take it all in. I enjoyed learning and visiting many different states in India, not just one. The history and traditions vary from place to place. For example, in Dharamsala there were two different cultures in one city. The Tibetan movement vs. the small villages. The Tibetans in Dharamsala kept their country alive through maintaining their religions and their fight for a free Tibet meanwhile the people in the village maintained more traditional aspects and formed a larger sense of community by farming together and keeping the family close together. The theme of our trip: tradition vs modernity was everywhere; even in the streets while we went to our next stops. My favorite tidbit was seeing the women in their beautiful saris on the back of a black motorcycle because the contrasts of tradition and modernity as shown by the traditional wear of the sari and the motorcycle, an efficient mode of transportation made a big while small appearance. Another city that combines both tradition and modernity is Dehli. Old Dehli maintains more traditional aspects while New Dehli combines the both. Anyways, in general,the trip was momentous and know I will forever cherish these fun memories! See you in the US !
A soon as I walked out of the airport in New Delhi, I was completely overwhelmed. The various people, aroma of foods and India itself was so different. As we hopped on the bus, I couldn't help but feel nervous about living in a new country for two weeks. Day by day, I had more and more fun on the trip. All the landmarks we visited, such as the Wagah border, the Norbulinka Institute, the various villages and temples, and the Taj Mahal were extremely captivating, and in each of those places I have created memories I will never forget. There was never a dull moment on this trip, even the bus rides were full of laughter and singing. I couldn't have asked for a better group of girls and chaperones to spend my first trip to India with! It was like having sisters and moms away from home. One of the most memorable aspects of the trip was the Bollywood dance classes we took. Our dance teachers Sahaj and Shreoshi choreographed two amazing routines for us which we performed along with two routines choreographed for the other group in a dance battle. Each class was so much fun and we felt really proud to have learned such difficult routines. Our entire group practiced our routines together outside of class time and couldn't have been happier with our final performance. It showed us that hard work really does pay off. I also really loved talking to the monk who translates for the Dalai Lama and also Tenzin, a Tibetan activist. Both individuals gave such influential and eye opening speeches. Our discussions made me think about my life in a different way. Before talking to the monk, I never thought of a concept such as "wisely selfish" vs. "stupidly selfish". Similarly enough, before talking to Tenzin, I never truly understood the extremes an activist must go to to make his point prominent. This trip is honestly one of the best trips I have ever been on, and I am so grateful to have been given this amazing opportunity.
The long bus rides have given me time to finally breathe. The DC life is so hectic sometimes; even now that school is out I have had my schedule packed. Between volunteer work, traveling, summer college programs, school work, college apps, and trying to not completely ignore friends and family, I've had almost no time to think. My thought process has become so robotic: wake up, brush teeth, wash face, eat, do this, do that, on to the next thing before I can actually take it all in. This trip has given me time to think...and to think deeply. Rich thoughts filled my mind as I asked myself questions I would have never asked myself otherwise. The constant moving backdrop of India outside of my bus window served as fuel for my mind. As I sat quietly in my seat, seemingly brain dead, I was actually being consumed by the knowledge I was gaining through only looking out my wide window and allowing my thoughts to rocket high into unknown depths of understanding. I piece together what I know of myself, India, and the world. I see how these people live and how I live and how and why we are so different but the same. I create systems and create patterns to explain the answers to my questions. Looking out my window brings me back to those days I spent as a child looking out of the back seat car window, watching the world pass by, quietly learning about my world- completely uninterrupted by any text messages or homework, simply soaking in the beauty.
This trip has been an amazing and educational experience. I appreciate all the people we've met for being so open with us, especially Penny, CORD, and Nirantar. A lot of the time people can be blinded to the major issues of their country by patirotism but India's strong patriotism has not stopped the people we have met from aknowleging social, political, and economic issues in their country. I appreciated Tenzin and the Lama's confidence and honesty. Their ability to speak their minds without fear that we might disagree with them was commendable. Tenzin spoke about how he disagreed with much of the United States' foreign policy. The Lama spoke about materialism, a lifestyle prevalent in own area at home. Although I agreed with their ideas, I know that some people in the room and/or people in America would have disagreed but neither of the two held back. Tenzin also talked honestly about how he kept up his motivation to keep fighting for a free Tibet. He talked about the importance of proving that non-violence is realistic way to solve issues and how he motivates himself by working for solely the free Tibet issue. I think a lesson for us all came out of that. Sometimes in school and at home we cant help but think about our futures and we usually think about a high paying, office job. But Tenzin showed us that pursuing what you believe in and are passionate about is one way to ensure your future happiness. The Lama's most striking words were '"No one is going to grab your hand and throw you to heaven. No one is going to grab your leg and drag you to hell." Similar to Tenzin's words, the Lama convinced me of the importance of taking my own path in life and not just living by social rules or norms. Throughout the trip we have been welcomed in to homes and organizations warmly. I appreciate all the hospitality and general positive vibes (for lack of a better word) that I have received whilst in India. I appreciate all the "updating myself" I've been able to do. Seeing my values and actions as well as major world issues in a different light has been a valuable part of this trip. Finally, I appreciate all the girls on this trip who worked through sickness, stuck together, discussed, sang along, danced all out, and generally enjoyed themselves. I hope that I can continue to update myself and sustain bonds with the girls on this trip. Thank you to the trip leaders and all of the organizers of this trip.
It will be sad to leave India but I can't wait to see my family and friends back in the U.S. and maybe have a big ol' steak when I get home.
India welcomed us all with open arms. From the very moment we landed in Delhi, I felt a warm acceptance that lasted throughout the whole trip. Even in areas that I would have not expected to feel comfortable in, such as the temples or rural villages, people responded to our presence with welcoming smiles. I think what had always been so appealing to me about India was its colourful, vivacious, restless nature. Everywhere we traveled as a large, conspicuous group, I saw genuine living, not people concealed within their technology or ignoring all things surrounding them. In India, people actively appreciate their surroundings and each other, and that has opened my eyes on how to better live my own life back in my own environment.