India is full of unexpected outcomes. Whether bad or good, engaging is the key to success and understanding India. At the beginning of the trip, we found ourselves in New Delhi where millions of people live. I was fascinated by the organized chaos of the traffic. I, for one, most definitely almost got lost in the crowd of people that surrounded us. In New Delhi, pickpocketing is common, so we had to be aware of our surroundings. Also, just the mass and craziness of Delhi made it truly easy to get lost. When we migrated to Corbett Reserve, I felt like that served as a reboot after New Delhi. The safari on the other hand required a lot of attention and certainly patience while waiting in silence for peacocks, elephants, or possibly a tiger.
Skipping forward to Agora: when we started on our hike, “being present” in this situation meant putting the group’s needs ahead of our own. If someone began to slow down or get tired, encouragement and support really brought the 2019 India group together. Anyways, the villagers of Agora truly showed presence when strangers from the other side of the world were welcomed with the exciting word, “chai”. During my Agora experience, I was able to truly connect with the community by working daily jobs such as carrying compost and leaves up and down the mountain. I also played cricket with many of the kids and teenagers of the village which was probably one of the highlights for my trip.
Finally, I couldn’t be more exited to come back next year to relive another amazing experience. Over the India trip, I felt like I had the most control over my life then I had ever had before. I learned to understand the way another culture lives, and to better value my opportunities. And I learned that when an opportunity like this India trip comes along, it is best to go for it.