Thursday, August 22, 2013

Final Post!

I cannot believe how fast this trip went. Although I am excited to see my family and friends again, I feel like I established a tiny part of my life here. I love living and working with my host family everyday, I love eating the food, I love being surrounded by constant closeness. 

This is a trip I will always remember. I hope to comeback soon, especially to see my host family and the new additions to their nursing school. I am very proud of everything my host family has done, and I can only thank them for being such an inspiration to me. 

So to wrap it up, these are some fun memories and lessons I learned in India:

1. India has no concept of spacial awareness. When in line, people get close and comfortable with you. You don't have to talk, you just silently cuddle up next to them while standing. It's socially acceptable.

2. It is also socially acceptable for men to pee on the side of the road at any time of day. 

3. Greet EVERYONE with a hug. They are either your aunt, uncle, sister, or brother.

4. You will never go hungry. Wherever you go, there will always be food. Great food, and plenty of it. Also, expect to have chai to top off any one of your meals. 

5. Eating out is a new concept in India. At the bookstore I was looking for an authentic Indian cookbook, but I food more books on microwave Indian recipes. Home cooking is the best cooking.

6. I’ve heard that I look like an Australian, Lady Gaga, or Barbie. Not sure how I feel about that one yet.

7. Do not eat paneer that is a couple days old. Just don’t do it.

8. The entire class of second year nursing students asked me to sing in front of them. For all those who know me well, it is common knowledge that my voice needs a heavy dose of auto-tuning. For lack of a better phrase – I thought I was going to pee myself when they asked. I felt that I couldn’t say no because it was my last day there. So I swallowed my pride and sung.  

9. One day the driver came to pick me up to take me to a NGO. I was all by myself since my family had gone to work at the nursing school. I see my driver holding a helmet, and walking towards a motorcycle. I immediately start shouting, “NO, NO, NO!” Turns out he just needed to go park his motorcycle so he could pull the car out. Darn language barriers!

10. Meditation is awesome. We visited the Om Shanti Retreat Center and learned about the importance of meditation. We spent about two minutes meditating and I already felt the benefits of just being silent and relaxing.

Big thanks to the Singh family, for being such inspiring people. I am so grateful for all that I have learned and all the fun times we have had. I miss you all so much already!

Another big thanks to Leslie Davis, for introducing me to the Singh family and helping me out during this entire year-long process!

Final thank you to the anonymous donor who funded this trip. Whoever you are, you changed my life. 

For all those back home, I made it safely back to the US, and I am going to start school again in a couple of weeks. Thank you so much for keeping up with me and my Indian adventures!

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