Reading about another country is one thing; living there is an entirely different experience.
I learned much about the Hindu religion and how similar it is to Christianity. I learned about business models in-depth and how to put one together. But most of all, I was able to interact and work with students from 3 different parts of the world. We all looked different, all came from different backgrounds, and all had different experiences in life. But we are all the same, and that is what enabled us to become friends and get work done in such a short period of time. At a time when racial tensions are high in America, I wish people could have the same experience as I did so they can see that we are all the same on the inside. Even our different religions were all so similar when we were discussing them. I am so thankful for having th
is experience and meeting everyone.
Last January I began to think about how I would like to spend my 19th birthday: Party, ski trip, and rock climbing all came to mind. Never did I think that I would be celebrating it on the other side of the world.
The Hindus celebrate birthdays the same way we celebrate New Year: At midnight. So the party began on January 3 right at midnight, when we had cake and celebrated in the scholar house. The next day was a Sunday, so there was no class. In place of our normal schedule, a few of us from each
of the 3 colleges (America, China and India) bought toys and games from a local book store and brought them to an orphanage, where we passed them out to the kids and played with them. While there, I had a couple of magic tricks on me from my Children’s Show, so I performed them for kids. After I was done, they all sang “Happy Birthday” to me. It was certainly a birthday I never expected to have.
Aside from a few Bahamian islands, I have never been outside of the country before, and I have certainly never been away from home for more than 10 days at a time. Both of those changed when the plane took off from Logan Airport on December, 27 to embark on our 20 day journey to India. The flight was very long, but I had a good book and slept most of the way. Our layover in Dubai was uneventful, and I was able to connect briefly to the WiFi to text my parents. My internet connection would be very limited for the next 20 days, but in hindsight that was a very good occurrence. After a 4 hour plane ride to Bengaluru we were ready for a 3 hour layover, but that turned into an 8 hour delay of our flight to Hubli, so I was able to relax and get to know the students from UML and China. By the time we arrived in Hubli, I felt as though I had known my new friends for much longer than a few hours. 33 hours after walking out of my front door in Watertown, I was walking into the front door at KLE Tech in Hubli.