Sittin’ in the Chatterbox
It seems that a facet of all the buses we have encountered in India is a small section of four seats facing one another in the front of the bus. Behind each small section, the bus is like any other normal bus. Towards the beginning on the trip Jess coined the term “the chatterbox.” Since we were already close friends we often sat together in two of the front facing seats of the chatterbox. Two seats would remain empty as the rest of the students filtered onto the bus. We would at random pull in a few people to the seats. Get in the chatterbox. Due to the terribly long bus rides through Bombay, the chatterbox became the start of numerous friendships. Everyone from our beloved Clyde to Mr. Mundra found their way in for a conversation, a debate, or just to get driving directions. Later, as we began our trips to Dadar for TFI, Reva, Armaan, Tarini and I bonded in the chatterbox. We napped on each other, discussed our days with TFI and swapped snacks. In the evening traffic back to Bandra, we had a chance to share the striking moments of our day and grapple with the difficult parts. I think that although the fundamental reason for Niswarth program was to learn and serve, the people are just as important. Without the support of the friends I have made, I wouldn’t have emotionally been able to handle some of the most disgusting or saddening sights of my life. It’s the light and funny moments that lift the weight off our shoulders and allow us to carry on.
Even though Mikaela affectionately refers to the chatterbox as the nausea box because of ensuing carsickness, the chatterbox represents what has made the trip a truly life changing experience, friendship. Having a group of people to share and reminisce with will ease the transition back to the United States as well as help me continue with Niswarth values long after I return home.