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Post Written by Charlie Bonetti, Daisy Lee, and Adele Behar

 Group photo at Sambhali Trust

For the rest of the trip, we will be primarily featuring student's writing and reflections about our trip. We have had a long yet productive past two days. Beginning with an 11 hour train ride from Dehli to Jodhpur, students had the opportunity to chat with Indians as well as power through their math assignments. Our first day in Jodhpur was jam-packed as we journeyed from one incredible experience to the next; read about our journey in detail below!

Charlie Bonetti:

On November 8th, we all endured a 12 hour train ride from Delhi to Jodhpur. The experience I would like to share would be a about a long conversation I had with someone from India. His name is Ankar, and is 17 years of age. He goes to school in Delhi, but is visiting his parents in Jodhpur for Diwali. Ankar attends a school funded by the Indian government since his dad is in the Air Force. He has aspirations to be a neurosurgeon and eventually work in America. His parents are very strict in terms of studying and it has clearly paid off since his GPA is 2nd best in his class. We also talked about more personal topics such as caste, gender roles, and politics. He described caste as not as prevalent a problem as we view it in America. He personally does not believe in caste and he told me that he hasn't encountered anyone who disagrees with him. Another thing we talked about is gender roles in terms of dress. He said that his dad mostly wears western clothing were his mother wears both traditional and western clothing. Poverty is something that is clearly prevalent in India so I asked him why their were so many beggars. I told him that in America, homeless people are usually that way as a result of drugs but he said in India it is that they can't find a job or their income is too low. During our trip we experienced a lot of stares from the Indians and he told me they do that not because they are mad at us, but in fact they respect and are curious about us. I also told him about the upcoming presidential race in America and he found it pretty funny about all the characters involved. Ankar is more American than I thought he would be. He watches the NBA and talks about the games with his friends. I also overheard him listening to Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and even rap. Being able to learn so much about India from Ankar was such a valuable experience for me.

Anna Stevens '09, Daisy Lee, Eve Mansfield, and David Wang receive Henna at Sambhali Trust

Daisy Lee:

 This afternoon we went to Sambhali Trust, an organization that fights child marriage by teaching women and girls how to sustain themselves. While at the organization, we talked with the girls as they gave us henna tattoos. The girl who gave me a henna tattoo of a cow and a flower was named Sakali. Sakali is seven years old and is the youngest of her ten siblings. She had never seen the simple luxuries that I take for granted. When she noticed my braces, she excitedly said, "You have silver on your teeth!" Although originally I thought this was adorable I then dug a little deeper and realized that she had never seen the privilege that braces represent before. Braces serve as one of the many visual representations of privilege between me and the kids at Sambahli trust. The privilege I have are foreign to these kids, they made me realize how much privilege I actually have.

Adele Behar and Daisy Lee listen to a performance by the young girls at Sambhali Trust Boarding House 

Adele Behar

This evening all of us visited a Shiva Temple to get a hands on experience of a Hindu Service. As the service escalated, an old women wearing a yellow embroidered saree motioned me towards the shrine of Shiva in the middle. Here I was a little nervous, but the old women demonstrated what to do. As the service continued the old women with the beautiful saree became my guide and changed me from an observer to someone actually part of the ritual. Finally she asked me what my name was. I answered "Adele" and asked her for hers. She told me her name was Marigold and then we chatted about where I was from and I thanked her for taking me under her wing and teaching me what to do. Sadly we needed to leave the service, but I will never forget the old women in the beautiful saree and the kindness she showed me.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful experiences. I love how you've been able to be "hands on" for so many activities!