Since I have been extremely busy with little time to blog, I wanted to share our course blog written by the students (below). I'm having a hard time loading pictures to this blog as well so I promise to share them somehow when we return.
Nutshell - we're in Mumbai until Monday evening when we fly back to the states. This city is awesome. Safe compared to the others, lots of cool buildings, restaurants, bars, shopping, hotels....we are staying in the Vivanta by Taj (formerly known as the Taj President). It's a 5 star hotel and it sure does feel like it! Very, very nice.
Ate some delicious Italian/Indian food today for lunch. Head to Raj's parents house in a few hours for dinner. All we've been doing is eating....eating and more eating. Delicious food but a little rich to be eating 2-3 times a day! I have not lost any weight on this trip!
India is such a fascinating place. It's really hard to describe the sights, sounds, people, culture and mass chaos that seems to work for everyone. One side of the street is a 5 star hotel and the other side is filled with homeless people under covers begging for food. Seen nothing like it. Mumbai has been the first place in India that the students say "feels familiar"...it's more like a NYC but definitely still 10x more hectic.
I have some videos to share once I can upload them.....I hope they will give at least a small indication of the sentiment of this country. Cities and states here are very different. It's like the different cultures of the regions in the US but probably even more so. Different foods, accents, laws, landscapes, etc.
Gotta get going but I hope to blog more when we return. Ohhhh, we're visiting a slum tomorrow. Mumbai has 18 million people and about half live in the slums. We saw them when we flew into the airport here.....it was miles and miles and miles of shacks/huts/boards on top of each other, literally up against each other. I am excited to visit but also feel a weird nervousness. We have seen so many sad sights here already without even visiting the slums: people with no legs, deformed body parts, missing body parts, emaciated people, blondness, children and adults covered in dirt and grime. There have been people with legs that look disjointed and you wonder how they can even move. People who look like animals walking on all fours because of deformities. It's sad because we look and then try to look away to avoid them begging our entire group for money. We have learned that if you give one person something there will be numerous others on your trail. It makes me sad because I feel like I haven't had a chance to fully grasp my emotions. I am now thinking about it and it makes my stomach hurt.
Phew, okay.... on that note I will leave you with the hope I will blog in more detail about our slum visit tomorrow. I think that will have a lot of impact on the students, at least I hope so. I know India has already had an impact on me. So blessed.
Below is our student blog which gives some more details about our excursions to date. We haven't been able to get photos to upload since Dubai.