As we were travelling to India three weeks ago we were asked the question “what are you leaving behind?” Now as we are waiting to embark on our return journey we have been asked the question “what are we bringing back?” Quite literally, I am bringing back two Indian daggers for my brothers, a few trinkets, and some traditional Indian women’s clothes (for my mom I swear). I am also bringing back an emergency passport, which I got yesterday after losing my original. Although my tired mind is telling me to end this blogpost right about know that would not be the Niswarthian way. Throughout this trip we have been encouraged to reflect deeply so I will try to continue doing while fighting my will to sleep.
I believe that this trip has been a very moving and powerful experience. We were thrown into a whole new unfamiliar world with vibrant bustle and unbelievable contrast. India is so incredibly complex. It is hard to articulate my experience in such a broad and summarizing manner. The Niswarth program and my experiences during the past three weeks have changed my mentality towards poverty, my opinions about education, my understanding of sanitation, my awareness of women’s rights, and many other aspects of the Indian community. Despite my new ideas in many of these important issues, they are still not the main things that I am bringing back home and to the communities I interact with in the future.
Niswarth’s biggest impact on me has been the change in lifestyle that this trip has provoked. On this trip we have learned to act with intention. To live presently but in an engaged, not selfish manner has been one of the main ideals of the trip. The strong ideas of service have had a large affect on my consumer mentality as well. I hope the affect the trip has on my life will continue to develop my personality throughout the years.