Unfamiliar Becoming Familiar - Hilari Bloomfield

Woke up to find that I was not in my bed in good ol’ Utah, but was sleeping in a bug sprayed sheet with my head on my travel neck pillow, and did I mention I was smiling. Smiling because I am able to spend time in this insanely gorgeous country.

The past few days have been more overwhelming and more mind-boggling than anything else in my life. And I have loved every minute of it. Two hours on an airplane from Salt Lake to Chicago, fifteen airplane hours from Chicago to Delhi, bus ride from the airport to the train station, a ten hour train ride, a six hour bus ride and WE MADE IT!

We met some nice friends on the train ride that loved to take pictures of us…while we were sleeping…haha so awesome! Then the best part of all the traveling was riding for six hours through the incredible Himalayas. Looking up to see trees and trees and more green luscious trees was so amazing. There are so many awesome things that we saw on the ride; the many cows wandering the roads, the rabies infested dogs, the monkeys chillin’ on the concrete posts keeping us safe from a thousand foot drop, OH and the real live elephant! Best thing ever. Arrival at the NHPC (place we are staying) almost felt like it was never going to happen, but it sure did. We had our first real dish of curry and rice with chapatti bread. Then had some unpacking, showering and cleaning of the dirt that had existed on our bodies for the last forty-eight hours. Then we got some sleep. Woke up as I previously mentioned, and had breakfast. After our breakfast, came the best part. Meeting the girls! We had girls come from the Temple Ashram in Chamba, as well as a couple of girls from Kullu (450 km away from Chamba, where we are) who are staying the nights with us.

In the NHPC, main building where we are staying, we are supposed to be respectfully quiet, and I mean if you want to have some fun that’s not gonna happen in silence. So we walked down to the playground where there was a big open field, and a nice large concrete rectangle as well that we did workshops on, and got some bonding time with the girls.

One of the workshops was “introductions” and I helped a fourteen-year-old girl named Poonam. She and I have become great friends, she is really shy but you can tell that eventually she will open up (at least I hope). I am excited to get to know her better as well as the other girls. I can’t even think about leaving, even though it’s far away right now it will catch up to us so fast. I love India and love the Indian people, and I love our expedition team. No worries, I’m safe it’s not like there are massive cockroaches crawling around or anything. Miss you family, and love you.

Hilari Bloomfield