It’s weird to say our time here has come to an end. After a successful and adventurous 22 days in India, I am packed up and waiting to leave for the international airport to make my way back to the United States. It’s a bitter sweet feeling. I never thought we would have been able to have such an experience in such a short time, but we made many close friends and unforgettable memories. As we all have said, where has the time gone? Heidi and Sam touched on our last few speakers and final SRCC outing. I’ll fill in where they left off and sum up our final four days in India.
January 14- Delhi Tour
The one thing that India has really made me use is patience. When they say 10 a.m. sharp, it means more like more or less 10:15-10:30ish. It’s not a bad thing it’s just something that requires patience and getting used to. We started the morning out with a tour of the Presidential Palace and then went to an Indian fast food restaurant. The restaurant had amazing ice cream of all flavors. I had one called the Delhi Delight. It was vanilla with chocolate swirls, nuts, and perhaps caramel or something like it. After lunch we went to Qutab Minar which is one of the tallest towers in the entire world. Monuments like that amaze me because of the architecture and quality that was put into it so many years ago. The tower was a ways away from any of the other sites we were going to see that day. Because of the traffic and time spent at the Presidential Palace we had to cut most of the other sites of the day out. We tried to get to Jama Mosque before it closed but we missed it by a few minutes. The sites close at sunset and open at sunrise so the timings are never very certain.
We were all excited to have a free day that was completely open on Sunday for us to just do whatever we would have wanted; however, the day turned out to be the only day to meet with our groups to prepare for our presentations. Many groups met at UGH and worked on the projects there and many others travelled to buddies houses to work together. I was one of the groups that met off campus. We went to Aditya’s house. I was really excited to have the opportunity to go to his house to get a better understanding on an Indian’s way of life. His mom was very kind to have us over and feed us many snacks, an amazing lunch, and a delicious carrot dessert. They were trying to describe the carrot dessert to me, but couldn’t find the right words to give it justice. One of the first things we found interesting in India is that the carrots are red and sweeter than carrots in the US. The dessert had shredded carrots, raisins, and nuts heated and mixed together in a special syrupy sauce. The closest thing to flavor I could describe it to would be warm carrot cake, but it was soooo much better. The rest of the day was devoted to working on our presentations. I can also say that Alex and I successfully took the metro back by ourselves and survived! It is actually very easy once you get the hang of it.
January 16- Final Presentations and Farewell Dinner
This morning was very hectic as everyone was trying to put last minute touches on their presentations and get everything “just right” before presenting. The presentations lasted the entire morning. There were six teams and each team presented for 20 minutes followed by a 10 minute question and answer session. After lunch we watched a cultural show, which included singing and dancing. It was all very interesting. At the end of the show they called all the US students to the stage and they tried teaching us some Indian dance moves. For dinner we were accompanied at UGH by our buddies to relax and interact with them. We then had a dance party to show off our moves, but it was cut short because we only had the room reserved until 9:30 p.m.
January 17- Valediction Ceremony and Goodbyes
None of us could believe that this day had come so fast. We stayed at UGH for the entire day. The SRCC students came there for lunch and then a formal valediction ceremony to follow. We all got awards and certificates for completion of the Indo-US Collaborative Program. It was a bittersweet experience to know we successfully completed the first UWEC study abroad to India. We went into the adventure with open minds and not knowing what to expect, but we left with filled hearts of many memories that we will cherish forever. I think I can speak for everyone and say that this was one amazing experience and if anyone has the opportunity to do it, they should and not hold back. Thank you, SRCC, for your wonderful hospitality and so much more!