Well, I am siting here in Delhi, at the same guest house as I started my field school adventure. Just this time it's the end of the program.
We've done quite alot in the past week. Last Sunday (the 18t?) we left our homestay families in Chandigarh. Anu, Naveen and Prateek have not only been my homestay "family" for the past two months, but they also became Amber and my's best friends. The goodbye was quite a whilr wind, since we were trying to get everything and everyone on the train before it left, so it didn't hit me until the train left the station that I might not see these people for a long time. It was kind of like going through leaving Vancouver all over again. From there, we were to get into Delhi by 11 30 am, but there was a train derailed infront of us so we didn't get in until 3 in the afternoon. From there, we drove to Jaipur in Rajasthan. We spent a few days there, exploring the city and Amber fort (she was thrilled there was a fort named after here...). Jaipur is a beautiful city, with lots of red sandstone buildings, and Mhogul inspired architecture. From there we drove to Bharatpur, where there is a bird and wildlife sanctuary. It was nice to have a day just to relax in the forest and work on school work. That night, since we were the only ones in the hotel, we had quite a dance party - one of our field school group's favourite things to do. After 2 nights in Bharatpur, we drove to Agra, where the Taj Mahal is. We stayed at a wonderful little hotel that was just a 10 minute walk to the Taj. We went to the Taj right away, since it was closed the next day. The admission prices are crazy - not because they're expensive but because there is a huge difference between locals (rs 20) and foreigners (rs 750). The Indian students from our group tried to get in as locals, but they could tell they weren't from here. It was quite busy at the Taj that first night, but it didn't take away from it's awesomeness (that is the only word i can think of to describe it). I knew it was a beautiful building, but I have no idea, and couldn't have had an idea, of how amazing it would be. There is this aura around it that is like nothing I have ever experienced. I really did fall in love with the Taj Mahal that day. That night, some of us were feeling a little bit home sick, so we decided to go to the crazy fancy hotel next door (the hotel that all the Bollywood stars stay at) for a beer. It was quite a surreal experience, going from eating at dhabbas (road side fast food) from sitting in this posh hotel drinking corona. I didn't feel like I was in India anymore. the next day, we went to see Agra fort , then a few of us headed back to the hotel to sit on the roof top and finish our projects. We worked all day, and well into the night, and finally finished all of our projects at 2 in the morning. Amber and I had a small, quiet dance party to celebrate. A few hours later, we wento to the Taj again, to see the sunrise, then drove back to DElhi. That night, a few of us went to go see a movie (goal) at the theater. The next day was a free day, and most of us just spent time with eachother since it was our last day together. That night we went out for one last dinner (and dancing of course).
Since last night, people have been leaving to go off on their own adventures. It's been emotional to say the least. It's really hard to say goodbye to these people that you've been sharing this experience with for the past two months. Only they can know the frustrations, joys, and everything else that we've gone through. Tomorrow morning, I am leaving with Nate and Amber (and maybe Bal) for Harridwar. We'll be there for a few days, then back to Delhi to pick up Amber's friend. The next day we got to Varanasi, then I leave Amber and Nate and head back to Delhi to meet Kristen and Caitlin to fly down to Kerala. There, we'll do some housebating, then I'm going to head back to DElhi and fly home. This trip really has gone quickly. While I really love India, I am starting to look forward to coming home and seeing you all.
Hopefully I'll get a chance to write a few more times before I leave, and let you all know what adventures I'm having!