The group has been in Kochi for a little over a week with everyone taking different classes, such as Ayurvedic medicine, painting, martial arts, flute, and cooking. For our last day as a full group, we decided to take a trip to the backwaters to do a kayaking and biking trip. Everyone woke up at 7:30 am to hop on a bus and ride an hour to the backwaters. Upon arrival we were split into two groups, the first group did a biking trip then a kayaking trip and the other half did kayaking then biking. The kayaking trip was a simple loop on the calm back waters. Along the sides of the canals you could see people doing everyday chores like washing dishes or cleaning their clothes. Rice boats and houseboats cruised in the vast open water that looked like a highway for boats. The sun was incredibly hot but the water was chilly and calm which made for a refreshing break when we would stop. We saw beautiful light pink lotus flowers lining the sides of the water, sprouting up in a way that made them almost look fake. We also saw a few water buffalo and their babies. The whole time we were kayaking the backwaters you could hear Malayalam gospel music playing through loud speakers throughout the winding canals. I didn’t get the chance to ride the bikes because my back injury might become worsened but I heard that it was extremely rigorous, but quite beautiful and worth the ride. After we finished the kayaking and biking we stopped in at a local homestay to get lunch. The meal was served on a banana leaf with no silverware so we ate with our hands. The meal was delicious! With green beans, rice, coconut and cucumber curry, mango pickles, chicken, and fish, there was enough food for everyone to get seconds. After eating we sat in the living room of the homestay and watched Indian music videos while the homestay mother tied saris on the girls and dhotis on the boys. When all of us had our saris and dhotis on we had an epic dance party featuring Peter’s fantastic dance moves. Once the dance party came to a close, we piled into the bus and drove about an hour to a pristine beach with lots of sand and mild waves. By this time it was about 4:30pm and we were ready to swim. The group put down their things and jumped into the water showing off our intense t-shirt tans. This was the perfect way to end my India trip, as I am leaving early because of a back injury. We all watched the sun set over the ocean and my last day in India came to a close. I want to thank Carpe Diem for giving me the opportunity to experience India in a completely unique and enlightening way. I have learned so much about myself and the world around me, and improved my life and my outlook on life. Thank you to everyone in the group for being compassionate, kind, and constantly striving to better yourselves and the world around you.