I had been ready and eager for a foreign trip forever. Arriving in Delhi and seeing the hazy Indian sunset for the first time—well, I’d only imagined such an intense spectacle. Driving through the streets of Jaipur was terrifying, but I got used to the countless near-accidents, as well as the cows, camels, pigs, horns, rickshaws, bikes, and monkeys. Walking the bazaar of Pushkar is how I want to shop: no more malls, and certainly no more Pottery Barn.
I went to a school for the conference. The school was startling and striking; it was called “the Eaton of the East.”
There were fervent speakers and valuable discussion groups. I made friends from everywhere: Thabang from Johannesburg, Sunny of Copenhagen, and Asraful, a Bengali. But everyone was much more than where they were from.
Outside of the school was the Real India, where there were famished, impoverished people. A lot of them. My whiteness was no disguise. When we were in the cities walking the streets, I couldn’t help but feel spoiled; it was a disgusting feeling to know that I had much more than I would ever need. I wanted to take off all I had and give it to those who needed it more, especially the woman I witnessed crawling with sandals on her hands. She was rather frail, slowly pushing a bowl in front of her. Her eyes were haunting.
It is strange to walk on such a calm and tame campus again. India was wild and thrilling. Adjusting to a set time schedule has been the hardest. I loved not worrying about time as we explored and ventured about.
I now appreciate my education even more, particularly after meeting street children who want nothing more than to go to school.
It made me question what I was really doing at my school. There must be more I can do for the people of the world than to study at a fancy prep school. And that is honestly what I want to do in life: help.
I experienced more in India than I did during my three-and-a-half terms here. I might even have a better idea of what I want to do with my future. But for now, I miss everything in India. Jai Ho.