Way Back Home

I am currently seated in seat 43D of the Virgin Airways flight V354 on the way to Mumbai, India. We are about halfway through the flight, suspended over the Black Sea. Just hours ago I was in London, my home town, packing last minute items into my suitcase like headphones, and gum. It is incredible to think that in a few hours I will be immersed in some of the most desperate and systemic poverty around the globe.

A big focus during discussions that we have had so far is the idea of the vast sources of contrast that we will be experiencing in India. For me one of the most powerful and seemingly unfair sources is the difference in lifestyle between myself and the impoverished people of the world and particularly those living in India. The whole Niswarth group is travelling on an extensive plane, a luxury many people will never know but for many an ordinary means of transportation. It seems like luck, whether you live in an impoverished community or a western nation, like the wheel of fortune. I am very unsure if what my reaction will be to this saddening reality.

As I go to boarding school internationally, I am not alarmed by the prospect of being away for a few weeks, however it is always hard to leave home. Home for me is the Jersey Shore but being situated in London for the majority of the year I have left a lot behind. My parents, my siblings, and my dog are all on the top of the list of things that I will miss the most. Although my dog, Fergus, is only five months old and being away for most of the year I have only been with him for about three weeks I already miss his resilient love. He finds my room often times as his, acting as a nice leg/foot warmer during the night. I am also leaving my fury alarm clock. Fergus wakes me up at six thirty promptly for a trip to the loo in the flowerbed, which has no more flowers. Every time he sees me even if I saw him thirty seconds ago he looks up and wags his tail with joy. His dark eyes expecting a scratch or a belly rub because he knows that I am unable to resist his cuteness. Although I will miss sleeping on his daily conditioned fur I find that when you are very busy, as we will be over the nest three weeks, you don’t miss things as much as you remember them with joy.

As we will be exposed to a lot of exciting and sometimes depressing cultural aspects of the communities that we are visiting I cannot be sure what sort of emotions we will feel as a group. This will be my first time travelling to India and my first time experiencing the level of poverty known as the slums. London does have a lot of poverty but not to the level of extremity found in Mumbai and the other slums. I am looking forward to the challenges that will be presented to me over the next few weeks.