Today was an early morning, the earliest morning yet for us. There was no sun in sight as we lugged our bags to the back of the bus.
No goodbye is ever easy, and this one was a lot harder than I could have imagined. Leaving a place we called home and the people that made up our special family for 3 weeks. Especially Raksha, our guide. If you ask me, she’s undoubtedly the most wonderful person in India. With her kind heart and multiple languages she always made our trips a success.
As our final night came to an end we all pondered about how different life will be, we won’t step out our doors to a group of friends. Things were going to change. But we all looked forward to returning to our families and sleeping in an air conditioned room.
Although the outcome of our trip seemed unknown most of the time, we eventually found our purpose, implemented or suggested solutions that “lit a spark” for the community as Arron would say. We started a change that would not have happened without us. The community accepted us and showed their thanks with many smiles and a lovely bunch of flowers. We all felt very appreciated. That gave us a hook that made us want to stay and continue to encourage change.
I felt that knot in my stomach, as we drove away. I did not want to leave. Knowing I had 30+ hours of travel before arriving home motivated me to stay. But we were on our way, back home again.
Saturday May 17, 2015
It’s been exactly one week since we arrived in Goa. We have spent the last week adjusting to the extreme heat, as well as some minor inconveniences such as frequent power outages and new toilet etiquettes. This weekend, we were spoiled with a two-night stay at a luxurious air-conditioned hotel and a memorable experience exploring many temples throughout Hampi.
We started our day a bit earlier than usual this morning. We ventured out of the hotel through a dark lobby, hopped on the bus, and raced our way to the hill to watch the sunrise. We thought we were going to miss the sun climb into the sky due to an unexpected train passing that stopped us on the way. We hustled as fast as we could up the uneasy ancient stairs. The sunrise was beautiful as any sunrise is, but what made this sunrise greater was the scenery and our unusual mix of art and design students. The chanting of Sanskrit played in the background and stood as a constant reminder that we are here – we really made it all the way to India. We were welcomed sit and join the ritual by played instruments as the two men sang Sanskrit into the microphone. Coming together to worship as a group creating a unity between us all.
By noon, we had packed ourselves into the bus and traveled from luxury back to reality. Although the bumpy and twisty roads led to an uncomfortable ride, most people fell asleep. We were so exhausted from full days of sight-seeing in the hot sun. Our stomachs began to growl after the feeling of hunger took over our thoughts, we stopped for dinner at KFC. It was a meal very familiar to us, but with an Indian twist. With our tummies full of fried chicken, we drove the remaining 4 hours back Heaven Goa.