Location: New Delhi
From trying to find the group in Newark to losing Uttam when we were split at the visa check, our day of travel was an eventful one. In the end, though we all emerged as a full group from the airport to meet Wen and Rabsel, our fabulous supervisors here in India for the next 3 Weeks as we all embark on not only a service journey but a journey that will rocket us straight into the heart of both Indian and Tibetan culture. This group of high school students (and one new freshman in college) represent every part of the united states but one thing stands out to me as I meet my fellow Lifeworks students, every student here has come with a desire to lend a helping hand, explore a new culture, and make an impact on the world no matter how small. Day One: I am not a fan of the time change. This was quickly discovered when Uttam and I lay down to go to sleep immediately following our hotel arrival. Everyone is adjusting in their way to it whether it be coffee or just determination, we all are surviving. Sleep was restless, and we awoke at 6:00 to a nice warm shower followed by breakfast and nice conversation. The girls all proceeded to sleep until 8:30 which proved to be the smarter plan as we approach dinner time here. I am hanging on by pure caffeine. After our introduction to the program and a standard rundown of expectations and rules, we all boarded the vans and joined the loudest road system in the world. If you could imagine a parade of circus clowns walking the street, you can imagine the Indian way of driving. Honking is not seen as rude but merely a warning that your passing or you’re taking too long to back up. Alas, we arrived at Hauz kauz village, which as Julia informed us, is the Brooklyn of Delhi. After walking the shops and exploring local ruins from the Siri civilization we enjoyed a delicious south Indian lunch which Uttam’s knowledge proved very useful to the group in deciding what to get. With full stomachs, we again loaded into our trusty vans and proceeded to the Gandhi museum. The museum was an amazing experience. Gandhi has always been one of my favorite historical figures and to step foot where he lived, lead, and unfortunately died was truly a humbling experience that I along with others will cherish. We learned the ways of unity, peace, non-violence and were able to see how much of an impact this unbelievable man had on India.
Another thingmost of us learned was that we were exhausted and needed a quick wake up — coffee time. Wen took us to a delicious coffee shop not far from the hotel and very generously, got us all drinks. The first sip caught me by surprise as it was blistering hot and now am enjoying a burnt tongue, but once it cooled it was easily the best coffee, I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. On a side note, the iced mocha tasted like chocolate milk according to the three that got it which I found intriguing but loved the idea. So day one comes to a close as we sit here and enjoy some northern Indian cuisine and we love every minute of it. Already the group feels like a small family which means we are bound to be in for an amazing trip. This trip will be a trip to remember.