Things I’ve accomplished this week:
-first week of classes
The first week of classes has been amazing. Now that back in school mode, I feel like I’m achieving a good balance of academic and life lessons. There have been diverse guest lecturers and engaging group discussions. Hindi class is so much fun! Since we’re a small group, every Hindi “class” is 2 students to 1 professor.
-bargained (or attempted to) in Hindi
I’m pleased with how much Hindi I’ve learned so quickly. It’s been fun. Bargaining has been a way to further force myself out of my comfort zone by not only being assertive, but by speaking a language I’ve only been introduced to a week ago.
-bonded with host family
Not only has Hindi been great for putting myself out there to vendors I’ll never see again, but it’s also been a fun ice breaker with my host family. Even with my broken Hindi, they are so encouraging and happy at my effort. I’m learning that language is not only useful for connecting with people, but also with a culture.
-explored New Delhi a bit more
My host family took me to India Gate. My classmates and I went to Humayun’s tomb, after class one day. Khan Market is a high end market filled with many big brands. Thanks to globalization, you can feel at home in pockets like this. I think it is both a positive and negative thing for me. For one, it’s nice to feel a little piece of home when you’re so far away from the real thing. But the whole point of being so far away is to be fully present in the place I’ve travelled to.
Of everywhere in New Delhi I’ve been so far, the Ayurveda store is by far my favourite. The entire concept that there’s a store of products entirely dedicated to Ayurveda principles- from food to hair care to dental care, is mind blowing. I thought my introduction to Ayurveda would be an informal shack on the side of the street, but instead I walked into an entire market. They even offer free consults with an Ayurveda doctor, so I will be back. I’m excited to learn more about Ayurveda, because as a public health student I’m interested in learning about different health systems and also for personal health reasons.
Patanjali Ayurveda Store
-traveled to Jaipur
My classmates and I took a weekend trip to Jaipur. Being in Jaipur taught me one thing more than anything: I have so much more to learn. After being in Delhi for 2 weeks, I’ve been feeling much more comfortable in my environment. I thought the feeling was because of my independence, but I realized that I was sheltered because of my program- my professors and host family have been more helpful in navigating the city than I fully appreciated before in Jaipur. It was an overwhelming experience, but I am so grateful it is one that I had this early on so I can be more self-aware from now on.
Amer Fort in Jaipur
I’ve become much more at home in India now, and these are the little things why.