Today’s the day. My bags are packed. My lists have been checked and rechecked. All of my goodbyes have been said (minus three for my parents and Gizmo). And now I’m ready to go.
This afternoon, I’ll embark on a four month trip to India and China with Duke University’s Global Semester Abroad. There are 19 students on the trip, and we’ll take two classes in each location (one taught by a Duke professor and one by a local professor or expert in the field). Our classes will focus on international development and public health.
One has a thick moustache, another a beard, but none has any features that will likely distinguish them in my very Minnesotan perspective when I encounter a sea of Indian faces awaiting the arrival of their family members or friends. And to just ramp up the confusion factor a little more, I’ve heard most people will bring their whole family to pick up someone at the airport, so this could make for an endless crowd of foreign faces. I’ve been told to wear a Duke shirt to be more easily recognized. Hopefully the man who is waiting to pick me up will be wearing one too. Just the start to what I imagine will be a great series of adventures I’ll encounter this trip.When I arrive in Delhi tomorrow, it will be close to midnight. I’ve been instructed to get my checked bag and walk out the exit where I will be greeted by one of four men who will drive me to the hotel where all the students stay before we leave for Udaipur the following night. The instructions included pictures of the four men, all of whom look very different.
I’ll try to blog as often as I can while I’m away. I’m still not sure what my internet access will look like when I’ve over there. But for now, I’m as prepared as I ever will be and am ready for four months of new people, experiences, sights and sounds. Amidst all the unknown, the two things I’m fairly sure I can count on are dumplings and dal.