Most of the group is still sound asleep – we were understandably tired last night after our long day of travel and a few hours in India’s bustling capital. New Delhi, on the other hand, is already wide awake. Sitting on the rooftop of our hotel, I can hear the sounds of trains, prayer calls, shop keepers, commuters, birds, dogs, and traffic (though this is so constant that it becomes something of an unnoticeable hum).
Here, tens of millions of people have gathered to make their way in the world. It’s a place of contrasts. Yesterday, we saw cars, cows, mules, horses, monkeys, dogs, and people fighting for space on the congested roads. We watched tourists marvel at the sights and sounds. We noticed bright colors and muted tones. We smelled incredible food, public urinals, the unmistakable funk of pollution, and unidentifiable odors. We watched from the rooftop restaurant of our hotel as people settled onto rooftops, street corners, and apartments at the end of the night. This place, this city, offers so much to think about, consider, and feel. The mind slows down time to make make sense of everything and, yet, days and hours are reduced to single memories. There are details here that one could spend a lifetime trying to understand. There are images too that reduce complicated issues, events and questions, making them approachable for the first time. If you wish to consider the world, there is perhaps no better place to be.
So, here we are. Our small, diverse group is ready to consider. Last night, we discussed our experiences so far and shared information about where we’re from and what we’re searching for on this trip. We bonded. Things are off to an incredible start.
Here are a few initial impressions and ideas:
“Things are chaotic but they work. I was amazed to see so many people but also to see how it all fit.” – Han Zhou
“Delhi is like a puzzle. It’s full of incredible pieces that you can’t see anywhere else but it all fits together. Watching traffic is like watching a giant puzzle come together.” -Caleb Lewis
“There are completely different rules on the road here. It’s not lawless, it’s just so different. It works but I know that it would take a long time to figure out how.” -Blair Pausic
“These trips are amazing opportunities that we all have to embrace. I am excited to be part of another CCS adventure and know that we can all have a great time if we allow ourselves to really go for it.” -Suman Singh
“I am excited to fish and to try so many new things. This is going to be a big adventure.” -Hunter Villanueva