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Jack Freeman offers his reflections on the weather and more...

    Stepping out of the airport in Delhi was a shock for a number of reasons, among which were the 115ºF heat wave (approximately 46ºC) and the sudden feeling of isolation as the only noticeably western tourists. The heat presented itself as alarming initially but welcoming upon our eventual acclimation. Similarly welcoming were the people of India as we entered their space. I have come to enjoy the heat as this trip has progressed with transportation, to hiking, and to life here at Joybells. Our previous Sunday here in Dehradun was filled by a six-mile hike up a mountainous terrain to a Hindu temple dedicated to the god, Shiva. Normally this hike would not have been difficult for our able, athletic bodies, although the Indian heat made the challenge a bit more strenuous, but enjoyable nonetheless. On my watch, I was taking readings of the temperature up and down the mountain ranging from 95º to over 100ºF. Meanwhile, the Joybells kids that accompanied us laughed at us as we took several water breaks and nearly sweat through our clothes. 

In our time here I have been fascinated with the Joybells students’ energy, athleticism, and overall positivity in a range of events in all weather conditions: monsoons to heat waves. I have always been intrigued by weather, so this trip’s exposure to “the elements” has certainly broadened my horizons in the experience of numerous weather scenarios. I have additionally gained an appreciation of the somewhat mild weather conditions of Maine and Gill, Massachusetts. It seems that the majority of us have adjusted to the climate here in India, although I imagine the transition back to the U.S. may be even more difficult given the near thirty-degree difference in average temperature.