I am continuously shocked at the beauty of this country. We have experienced such beauty and we have only been here for two weeks. These weeks have flown by. The students keep asking how long we are here for and I find myself still saying six weeks but when I thought about it I realized it was only four more!
This past weekend we had time to explore. The group tok the town and got to know a different part of the culture. We had so much fun and it was well deserved after our first week. We visited the botanical gardens and saw some crazy sights! A family saw our large group and wanted to get a photo of us because we look so different than them. We also saw several monkeys. One of them was near a food vendor eating the scraps. He was quite adorable. But nothing compared to the pregnant monkey we saw.
A local was feeding her and offered to show us how to do it safely. Several members of the group fed the monkey before she decided she was full. This was just the beginning. As we continued our long, humid journey all of us were dehydrated and sweaty but we were so focused on the view it made it all worth it. We came across a tree that represented how I am feeling about this experience.
This heart shaped tree trunk stunned us all and we spent some time taking in the moment and appreciating what we have. Throughout this experience I have made some of the best friends I have ever had. Traveling across the world with people really brings you closer. I am so incredibly blessed to be here and experience the culture and experience the schools with such amazing people. We have so many laughs, lots of serious conversations, going through the ups and the downs together. It is a bond that will last a lifetime. It is not just the group that I have made relationships with. The students have become dear to my heart. There is a group of fourth and fifth grade girls that has a dance class everyday. I have visited their class several times and their excitement is infectious. There are a few girls in the class that have really attached to us. Avika and Paulak shower us with handmade crafts, notes, and hugs. Paulak made me a hand made necklace with the letter M on it. She spent all day on her day off school making us each a piece of jewelry. They really touch my heart.
I have also made a close relationship with the art teacher. She has told us all about Indian culture and Indian art. We get a few free hours during our days at school and I find myself in the art room when I am not planning lessons. She encourages us to try Indian style art and it turns out that I am not too shabby at it. I thoroughly enjoy drawing and have made several unique pieces. I have also tried pottery and it is a lot harder than it looks. I managed to make a tea cup, a bowl, and a clay mask. I am very proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things like food, clothing, and trying to draw and sculpt things I never thought I would be capable of.
India is truly a hub of natural beauty and man-made art. There is no way any of my pictures capture the beauty of India. The colors are so vibrant and landscapes are so vast. It is a sight to see that is for sure. I am lucky I get to experience it even for just a few weeks.