Today was the last day of the creativity workshop. I’m tired but happy. I had a great time getting to know the students from Delhi, where I got to practice some Hindi. Yesterday’s day of silence at Matrikunj was a bit of a stretch for some, but I think that everyone got something out of it. It didn’t rain and we only had one incident where one girl slipped on a rickety bridge and fell in the rain-filled ditch below. She was so good-natured about it; she just changed into some dry clothes and went on with the day’s activities. Everyone enjoyed exploring the beautiful grounds.
I also had lunch and dinner with John Duncan and Jan Monte who arrived today, a couple days ahead of the group. Jan is a UO alum who is very involved with the College of Education and UO Foundation and has come to be a part of our Alternative Break experience. She’s lovely and so excited to be here. When Jan asked John if he thought I had changed at all, he said that I seemed “at peace.”
Tomorrow night I get in the van to Chennai to pick up the Oregon crew! I have been reflecting, preparing myself both mentally, physically and emotionally for the busy month ahead. It will be interesting to see what I’m calling “reverse culture shock” when people from your home come visit you in a strange land. I will be surrounded by the accents, habits, and mentalities of back home but still in a foreign setting that I have happily grown accustomed to.
I am very much looking forward to meeting them all at the airport, their bleary-eyed faces full of the wonder, as if they are seeing the world for the first time. And in so many ways, they are.