Life By the River: Varanasi

By Katie Delaney

We spent this past week exploring Varanasi, known as one of the oldest living cities in the world. Each of us has had a chance to explore some of our passions by taking classes including jewelry design, painting, music, and even fire dancing.

We also had the chance to wake up at 5:30 one morning and take a boat out on the Ganges river and watch the beautiful sunrise as the people were doing their daily religious dip in the river before starting their days. We eventually got off and got to explore the old city, making our way through tiny alleyways dodging goats, pigs, motorcycles, cows, and I will admit, a lot of cow poop. Our morning excursion was made complete with a stop to drink chai and eat a traditional street food breakfast.

We also got to visit an after-school program in Varanasi for children who have mothers who work in the red light district. It was amazing to get to play with all the young kids and watch how they interact.

While Varanasi was a great place it definitely took a toll on us leaving many of us sick. All in all, we had a great time here and are excited to move on to our next stop in Agra.