I am taking away a sense of selflessness, to love all and serve all. I am taking away a sense of tight community, wherein everyone cares for each other deeply. I am taking away a sense of interconnectedness, which stems from the genuine interactions I have had with all sorts of people on this trip. I am taking away a sense of mindfulness, which I have gained from yoga and meditation. I have developed a new sense of trust and hospitality, which I witnessed firsthand in the accommodations our partners made for us to feel welcome. I am taking away a sincere sense of gratitude and humility, knowing that all we accomplished in Ahmedabad was made possible by Andover’s partnership with the Riverside School. I have a hopeful outlook on humanity given all the goodness and positivity that I’ve experienced with the people at Manav Sadhna, Setco, Riverside, and ESI.
I am taking away a new skillset of self-reflection. The journal entries, blog posts, and my videography have all functioned as formats for me to make sense of my experiences in the moment. I’ve found that in the past that I’ve been left to recall most of my life experiences from memory. However, my use of the Niswarth journal and blog has allowed me to maintain momentary authenticity throughout the trip. Similarly, my camera has functioned as a tool for me to capture experiences in the moment. My intent with constantly filming was in order for me to look back later on these memories through the same literal lens as when I was on the trip. Now that the trip has come to a close, I will be taking away footage of the memories I’ve had in India.
Therefore, I think that I’m also taking away the practice of balance, in all aspects of life. During Jayesh Patel’s Friday morning talk, he explained how he strikes a balance between his lifestyle and the desires of others. He mentioned that friends have put him up in five star hotels before and that his daughter sometimes takes him to Pizza Hut. His story helped me realize that I don’t have to completely dispel my western lifestyle in order to make a positive change in the world.