By Emily

Kolkata is very crazy. There are tons of people, you drive on the other side of the road and horns are always honking. The constant smell is a mix of incense, food, and sewage. Driving here is a free for all, there are no lanes. Its like 80-90 degrees everyday here with 100% humidity—I have never been so hot.

The food here is really good and the people here have been nice. We start volunteering at the Mother Theresa Home of the Destitute and the Dying tomorrow. Kind of intimidating because it will be the poorest of the poor, holding people’s hands while they are dying.

My group here is super nice, we all get along really well. We have been traveling around Kolkata and eating out, mostly it has been orientation. We are learning about public transport, how to say no to beggars (which there are a lot of, some with other hands or feet like one yesterday, kids begging for food, etc), how to get out of unsafe situations, and building our group dynamic.

Kolkata is incredible in the sense that there is never a dull moment, people always yelling, motorcycles, tuk tuks, homeless sleeping in the middle of the road, cows in the streets, trash everywhere (people just throw it out their windows in the streets). India is everything you would expect it to be and more. All the buildings here are falling apart and stained, it’s all amazing and crazy and I love it so far!

The flight was crazy long. 13 hours to Hong Kong, five to Singapore with a 10-hour layover there (we got out, saw the hotel with the boat pool on top and the giant man-made trees/ gardens that are on Planet Earth 2), six hours to Kolkata, and a 40-min drive to the Baptist Missionary Society where we are staying. All is going great! I love it here so far!

Excited for the next three months!