By Ryan Richardson
The 2019 CCS India trip was very influential, memorable, and the coolest experience of my life so far by a long shot.
In Mrs. Showalter’s English class, before the trip, we read “The White Tiger.” This book showed me the good and evils of India, the social class, and the poverty. Balram was brilliant, clever, jolly, and one in a kind, that’s why they call him the “White Tiger.” Balram made me think about how to push through tough times while withholding dignity and grit as well as to be different, in good ways.
In India almost everyone is kind, welcoming, and happy. They would show us around, invite us in for Chai, and talk or at least attempt to talk to us. Suman and Parveen were experts of these skills and it got each of them a long way, they lived like Kings, or at least kings of Agora!
That’s how I want to be treated, like a giving, humble king. They taught me some key factors to life, how to stay clean and healthy, even in the middle of the Himalayan mountains, how to safe and get around in any environment, how to listen and be able to give meaningful advice with few words, how to protect and use Mother Nature and your surroundings, and general people and adventure skills.
We experienced a huge Indian city (Delhi), the smallest of mountain villages (Agora), a beautiful national park (Corbett), a Westernized, religious City (Rishikesh), slums in Uttarkashi, and the beautiful, lavish city of Mussoorie. I want to bring some of the Indian customs, traditions, and ways of life back to the states and spread more American infrastructure, governmental views, and food into Hindu and Muslim life. For instance, most of the streets of India have sewage running through them and the caste system leaves you in an immovable position for life. I think some of their ways could use some Western influence, but at the same time we could use some of theirs!