A Taste of America
Among the spice, culture, and heat of India, a bowl of Choco flakes provides a clean palette to start the day. With the spontaneity of Niswarth, I’m glad to have some routine in the morning. I walk down to the café through the lusciously landscaped paths that my dad would be so jealous of or under the porticos, if the monsoons strike with heavy downpours. I grab the polished white porcelain bowls and turn the handle dispensing triangles of chocolaty goodness. The cereal crunches a bit as it is picked up by the machine and dumped into my bowl. I pour the milk from the container that I still don’t understand how to use, but just open it fully and take the lid off. With the bowl never filled all the way, I walk back to the table. I grab my spoon and ensure that every piece is fully soaked in milk. I stiff a spoonful into my mouth and feast on a little taste of home.
I’ve never liked cereal that much. At home, boxes lay open stale, almost full. My addiction to Chocos is surprising, but even my host family served them to me knowing how much I loved them. In a foreign country, I find myself clinging to anything that is even somewhat close to home, such as Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, Disney Channel, Facebook, and of course the Niswarth group. Even though I really wanted to fully immerse myself in India, having something to ground myself is one of the main ways I keep calm on this trip.
At first, when I read the list of the accepeted students, I was nervous-- I did not know many of them at all. How could I go to a foreign country with them? How could we as a group keep together and support one another during emotional times? We all arrived in Boston, adhering to those we knew well. Even during our unsuspected trip to London, we all struggled to mingle fully as a group. Somehow, through this trip, we have emerged so close and rely on one anther greatly. We spend pretty much 24 hours together and have learned to know each other pretty well. We know when someone needs to talk about a difficult day or completely laugh about something else. In our little group, we have created our little home, our little America, our little community. It’s funny how easily a community can develop through such organic ways. When we think about the Andover community, we think about how hard it is to unite the whole. In Niswarth, I’ve learned most simply how to create a community of peers despite you initial differences: language, culture, or background. Through this trip, I have definitely learned so much about communities, my own and others. It is the most vital way to connect people across various circumstances. Surprisingly, I have learned that a community does not necessarily have to be based on location of common background. It is formed by shared experiences.