The few days leading to the day I departed from Nashville were full of butterflies. I began to be a nervous wreck. Who allowed me to do this trip? I kept going back to this thought. Then on the day I left and had my 9 hour layover in Newark International Airport, I became fast friends with a young girl and her sister. My 9 hour went by so quickly, I didn’t have time to contemplate the reasoning of my trip.
So that photo was taken in New Delhi near the baggage lane. I was seriously sleep deprived and lacked a good shower haha. I really connected with this family. Maybe because I missed my own, but it also had a lot to do with little Magadhi. Even though we don’t look it now, but when I was her age we resembled in looks and personality.
At the New Delhi airport I met more women my age. I even got the number of a girl who lives in Kuala Lumpur. I have a layover there for like 14 hours, when my India trip ends. She kindly offered to show me around for that time. As the night went on I met this really cool girl who is from Kolkata! She was going to school in Illinois (2 hours from Principia). We bonded quickly, took down our info and will be meet up soon!
The flight to Kolkata felt super long even though it wasn’t compared to the other two flights. Once I landed, got my bags, and found my driver things moved rather quickly. Maybe too quick for me. Kolkata is amazing, chaotic, colorful, loud, busy…the list can go on and on.
I thought my time riding a taxi in Yopal, Colombia or NYC would kill me, I was wrong. Kolkata has nothing on those other cities. Drivers here are crazy. Everyone cutting everyone. I was tired one day from all my walking that I was slowly falling asleep, until my driver jerked the car and did some fast and furious shizzz. I couldn’t tell if I should have thought that was sick or if I should hold on for dear life because my short 23 years was about to come to an end. Hahaha people, me being dramatic isn’t just to give some humor to this piece but because it’s reality haha.
I didn’t technically start my internship till the 26, which was on a Friday. My advisor just gave me a quick intro of New Light and how things run, then she gave me directions of the shopping mall and a coffee shop. She saw that I was falling asleep. She understood that I was lacking sleep. I mean I was still wearing the same clothes I left my house…which of course was 3 days ago. Which much gratitude I ran out went to the grocery store, and had to convince people I was not Indian. I mean till this day people keep thinking I’m Indian. This will come in my favor later on in my blog post.
That night I realized that I couldn’t just buy things that looked like American food, like milk. The milk I had with my cereal that night was a bit creamy, crunchy… let’s just say it wasn’t the milk I was used to. I found out the next day it was supposed to be boiled because I actually I forgot why but I learned my lesson. I needed to ask my advisor to go with me on my next shopping adventure.
My advisor is pretty amazing, her name is Avantika. That name for some reason gives her some spice to her, a back story. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because it’s the only Indian name I can actually pronounce and remember. Anyways, while we were looking for some salsa dancing we came across a night tour. Of course she seems to know my interest and 5 seconds later I signed up.
Let Us Go was the tour company I went with. The night tour began at 10:40pm and went till 5am. There was A LOT of walking involved and some very short van rides. Even though temperatures were high 90s with lots of humidity, I enjoyed every bit of the tour. The guides were amazing, friendly, and funny. We even had the pleasure of having a famous blogger name Rangan Datta (www.rangandatta.wordpress.com). The group I had were all so kind and took me in under the wing. The couple standing next to invited me for tea at their place, which happened to be like a few blocks from my place. So about the photo above, it was taken around 3am at a local famous tea place see pic below:
Finally, my internship is already making me feel so happy I took a flight to this hot weather. The children really make you smile. Sometimes the heat tries to wear me down and make me feel odd, but when I’m with the children I realize it’s all worth it. Yesterday, 5/30 we went to a science museum (note their was no air conditioning). When we got there I was told by the team leaders to not speak as we were going inside. This was because I look Indian and we were able to get local prices rather then they pay for the foreign price. My looks finally came to play. I was grateful they didn’t have to pay double for me. As the tour went on I was starting to get light headed and frustrated with myself. The heat makes me think negative. It’s like this error that tries to suckered your life away. But staring at the kids and watching them laugh and play, all my problems would melt away. We all have all other be grateful for and at that moment things came to perspective. Not many people have the opportunity to help others that are in need, especially in a foreign country. I realized I’m not their to change or make the lives of all this kids better. I’m there to learn, observe, listen, and help make them smile.
They are why I choose this type of internship.
Ok thanks for taking time to read over my first week of adventures! Till next time ❤