Greetings from India!
The Shanti group is just completing our first week in India, and it has been a whirlwind of amazing, intense, overwhelming, and awesome experiences.
As part of the Carpe Diem community, we have taken to heart the meaning of ‘Carpe Diem”, and have been seizing every day.
Each day has been jam packed, and we are now just starting to have some breathing room to process what we have done, seen, tasted, smelled, and felt. Here is a quick summary of what we have done: visited a number of gardens in Delhi with ruins that are 500 or more years old; seen the markets of old Delhi and New Delhi; bought local clothes; travelled by metro and tuk tuk; met with a wonderful monk who taught us about Buddhism; travelled by overnight train to Varanasi; witnessed a 3000 year old living city; walked along the ghats (steps to the Ganges river); and started taking classes. And that is not even all of it!
And, through all of it, we have enjoyed each other’s company and lots of good Indian food. For a group that just met, it has felt like we have known each other for a long time. It has been nice to hear other’s perspectives and points of view. Here are some different first impressions:
Olivia: “India is full of life, culture and noise. I’ve seen so many beautiful sights, and met so many friendly people. India is full of spirituality and doesn’t hide its dirt. When there is something painful, it’s just as direct as the beauty. I’ve grown so much over these 10 days.”
Georgia: “India is vastly different from anything in America. Everyone here is so warm and inviting and always willing to chat.”
Charlotte “Life in India is hectic: there are people, dogs, cows and beggars everywhere. I’ve never felt fortunate to be an American and to live in a house with a clean bathroom. My first thoughts were, “wow, I am so lucky to be who I am.” I am excited and super anxious for my 3 months here and can’t wait to learn more about life here. “
Kari: “Hey! It is me Kari. I am currently roaming the streets of India and it is amazing! The food is awesome and the tuk-tuks are so cool. I love riding in them!”
Amiah: “I am so grateful for everyone in this group! So far I’ve felt welcomed by everyone and they make it much easier to deal with all the craziness India shoves in your face. The only thing that has been moving more than India is my brain in India! There is one thing that I have been deeply challenged by at every turn….’don’t pet the dogs’.”
Zevi: “First impressions of India: I’m really surprised by how nice everyone is. Their expression “guest is god” really comes through and makes me feel welcome most of the time, but other times they can be a little bit pushy. Food is amazing and so so inexpensive.”
Owen: “So far, India has been overloading my senses in a great way! Our days have been packed full of new experiences like: delicious street food, grand markets, and rebound temples. We have barely scratched the surface of what India has to offer, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds! “
That’s all from the Shanti group from week one. Stay tuned to hear about our Varanasi adventures!