Indian Hot Topic

So this week has had the highest highs and the lowest lows of the trip. Leaving the kids was a very unique experience. We only had half a day at the school and we absolutely had to leave Bini at noon. Our school didn’t start until 10 which only meant 2 hours with the kids and we had to teach about the hygiene kits we made for them, pass out their backpacks, blankets, and other school supplies we donated to the kids. So it was a very stressful day and time was of the essence. Everything went by really fast. We showed up early to the school and saw that almost all of the kids had shown up early and they had no idea that we were coming early that day. We were able to teach and pass out gifts successfully and we had 40 minutes to play with the kids and say goodbye. I almost thought that something was wrong because I wasn’t really feeling anything as we were saying our goodbyes. It was until we were walking away from the school for the last time that it hit me. I started crying my eyes out! It was so hard leaving those kids but I feel like there were a lot of kids we were able to make an impact with and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I had to be with them. 

We left Jibhi camp almost immediately after we got back and started to make our way to Manali. When we arrived we were all blown away at how nice the lodge we were staying at was. It was a really good way to lift our spirits after leaving the kids. We got to go shopping and experience the market in Manali. I have never been attacked by more fake RayBans salesmen. It was a cool opportunity to finds gifts and all around experience a different part of the Indian culture. Me and a lot of the kids in my group had a laugh at a store called Emerge which is quite literally the Indian Hot Topic. The store looked exactly like one and even had super edgy Hindi music playing. I was able to find some really cool stuff and I’m excited to bring some gifts home to my family. 

After leaving Manali we went river rafting in the Beas river. How many times can you say you went white water rafting in the Himalayas? That was so much fun and a really great way to end off the trip. Later that night Raj took us to a movie theater and we were able to see a Bollywood film in India! We saw Bahubali a sort of gladiator movie. It was the coolest thing ever to experience film from that culture. I’m a huge film buff so this was a high light of the trip. I’m really excited to see everyone at home and I’ll be there soon (I’m typing this on the flight from Singapore to San Fransisco) Love you all, see you soon!

- Tyler Brown