Today was the final day of our journey. It is hard to believe after months of anticipation and preparation, our time in India is coming to a close. But as Lalitha, one of our shakti-filled resources for this course told us, we must go where the river flows and life will be easy. So, we must all move on to whatever awaits us back at home with excitement for what is to come and appreciation for our three weeks in India.
During this time, we have seen two states, seven cities, the Western Ghats, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian sea, spent two nights on a train, slept in a cozy village, taken countless auto-rickshaw rides, and done everything in between. Our expectations for India and ourselves have not only been met but surpassed.
None of us could have expected the array of diverse experiences we have had while immersed in this rich culture. We have each been influenced by this experience in unique and unforgettable ways. I know that we will all remember this course for its lessons, adventures, and special moments. Through the creation of a series of beautiful moments, we have experienced India in a way that cannot be recreated.
We have learned about ourselves as well as each other as we have challenged one another and bonded over new adventures. Each of us contributed to the collective experience, making this course an unimaginable episode in our college careers.
At the end of this wonderful COURSE (not a trip!), I think we are all filled with a lot of emotions. Speaking for myself, I’m filled with a bit of uneasiness. Admittedly, being in India suited me. I got used to the bustling traffic, the constant loud noises, and the honking that came from every moving thing (including boats). I’ve gotten used to and even enjoyed haggling for an auto-rickshaw and the items that will soon be given as gifts to our loved ones.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be coming home (yes Mother, I am). But I’m sad to be leaving. India has become a new home for me, an academic home where everything kind of makes sense in the most unexpected ways. Everything smells different every second, and the sights change at the same pace. But I think I’ll be okay finally going back home. At least I’m going back.
During these last few hours of our stay here, we are all reflecting on the ways in which this course has broadened our perspectives academically, how we’ve grown to know each other better, and how much we have achieved over these three weeks. We are all going back to our respective universities and starting our U.S. lives over again, but many of us have been revived. India has taught us to be direct and to be daring, and hopefully we can translate some of the lessons we have learned here into our daily lives back in the US. We are so thankful for this opportunity to be connected to both each other and this incredible country and we will always remember this life-changing adventure.
India, you have stolen our hearts.