Glitter: Amazing People

by Elizabeth Shaw

Zip Lining in Jaipur

Zip Lining in Jaipur

Program Group

Program Group

Program Group

Program Group

Hiking

Hiking

Sleeping in the Desert

Sleeping in the Desert

Goa

Goa

Camel Ride

Camel Ride

Fitting into a Rickshaw

Fitting into a Rickshaw

In Goa

In Goa

High: A few weeks ago we had our travel break and a group of us went and travelled around Rajisthan. There was so much that happened on that trip that were amazing but i’ll just mention a few. For two days we decided to stay in the desert to do a camel safari. Instead of sleeping in the huts that were provided we decided we would sleep outside under the stars.

The first night it was so beautiful. There are no city lights anywhere and so you can see all the stars and the temperature was perfect. The next day getting to go on our camel safari was so much fun. We each got a camel (I named mine Kusco) and we wandered through the desert and sand dunes. If you don’t know the way that camels get up is very strange and it makes you feel like you will fall off when you are sitting on them.

They pick up their back legs first so you are falling forward over the head of the camel and you have to hold on until they get their front legs up as well. It was hilarious to watch people experience it the first time but by the end of the day we were pros. We even got to run while on the camels which was pretty uncomfortable because you are just bouncing with absolutely no cushion but still just so much fun. That night when we slept under the stars again instead of another peaceful night we were hit by a small but nonetheless terrifying sand storm.

It felt like our beds were going to be picked up by the wind and just taken into the desert. Looking back, it is such an amazing story it becomes a highlight of the trip.

Another highlight would have to be getting to zip line over the Nahargarh fort in Jaipur. The Nahargarh fort is this amazing fort that is so massive and just so beautiful over looking the pink city in Jaipur. Instead of simply seeing it, we were able to take a zip lining tour over the fort which was just such an amazing experience. Another highlight would be the transportation we took. With there being 6 of us there were some times we had to squeeze very tightly into the Rickshaws or Jeeps we were taking. There were many occasions when two of us would be forced to sit in the back or trunk which after about 30 minutes is no longer that comfortable. It was really fun to be able to experience all of these ways of traveling.
Finally, a highlight of the trip was just all of the culture that we got to see and all the amazing places we got to go. We ended up getting to see Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Pushkar and Ajmer in about 8 days. It was very hectic but so worth it. Just getting to go on that trip has definitely been a high of being in India.

Low: My low is that in 3 days I will be leaving India to continue my travels. Though I am excited to go on (I am going to Scotland next for the month before heading back home) I am going to miss my home here very much.

I love my host family and I love Pune and so leaving seems so surreal. This has become my home and the every day here feels so normal. I am sad to have to leave all the amazing people I have met here and to just leave India in general. I honestly did not think I would like living here as much as I do and I cannot wait for when I get to return.

Glitter: The glitter moment for me must be just all the amazing people I have been able to meet here and all the great experiences I have been able to have. I was so nervous the day I was leaving my house and I was confused that I was making a huge mistake coming to India.

But coming here has been one of my best decisions and I’m so glad I didn’t go anywhere else. The people in the program have become my very close friends, I absolutely adore my host family, I have become good friends with my host brother, and during my travels I have been able to meet and hang out with some very cool people.

ElizabethElizabeth is a Junior at Smith college. She is studying abroad in Pune, India during the Spring 2015 semester. She looks forward to learning the language and being able to learn and see as much of India as possible. While abroad she will be interning for an organization focused on public health and learning traditional painting. At Smith she is a Psychology major, an Exercise and Sports Studies minor and a Community Engagement and Social Change concentrator.

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