By Davis Bugg
If I’m being honest, when arriving in India, I had no clue what to expect. I thought I knew some things – that India is beautiful and different and all but I still wasn’t sure what to expect. I had some vague ideas of what we’d be doing but I was honestly unsure.
On June 4th, I was the leader of the day. After many hours of traveling and many car rides for our first two days in India, my day was our first full day based in one place. For our full day on the Saryu River, I was chosen to be the leader and to help talk about things that stuck out to me. It was my job to share my thoughts with the group.
On my day, we decided to hike to and explore a nearby village. From there, I was told, we would hike to the local water hole for some swimming., I was expecting this experience to be fun (and it 100% was) but it was more than just fun, more than I could have imagined. It was life-changing in a way.
I say that my day was life-changing because of something I noticed when we went swimming. At the water hole, there was a big rock that you could jump off into the water. When we approached this pretty big jump, I noticed something. I noticed that everyone in our group was motivating each other and trying to get each other out of our comfort zones so that we would actually jump. In a way, I felt like what we were doing related to what we had seen in the village.
Before going to the river, we had spent maybe a few hours in the little village near our camp. As we walked from house to house, got inside people’s homes, and asked some questions, I saw that everyone in the village was helping each other. I saw people living like real neighbors. And that wasn’t the first time I noticed this way of life in India. I haven’t seen anyone here yet who seemed unhappy or angry or anything in general. Even at 5 AM on our first day when we stopped at this restaurant on the side of the highway for breakfast, people seemed happy to serve us. I thought about my experiences in America, where if I go to McDonald’s at 5 AM, I would have had a very different experience.
Here, it seems that people don’t have assigned jobs. It doesn’t feel like they have one single thing they do. They just help each other and solve problems together. They farm and they feed each other. They help each other with tasks and projects. It’s beautiful to watch people doing this. It almost makes me want to live like them.
From these past few days in India, I have learned the most from simple things. I have larned the most from watching and doing simple things. I now realize that deeper meaning can come when you least expect it. I hope that the rest of the group has realized this too. Based on the way we worked together when we were swimming, a simple thing, I think they have.