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Shiva Group: Holi Guacamole and Camel Safari


April 3,

This afternoon the Shiva group has arrived to Udaipur and was promptly treated to a filling and delicious Thali plate lunch by the wonderful Rishi Ji (I may or may not have fallen into a food coma while creating this post). We just completed our village home stays and teaching English to and all girls’ school. I would say that both went pretty smoothly. Teaching English was fun even though some of us hit rough patches with grabbing the students’ attention. Otherwise it was all good! After an hour of class we all joined together outside to play shuttle cock, Frisbee, and listen to James and Mike serenade us with their various musical instruments. Blanca and Travon were definitely the stars of the show. Blanca had the first grade girls eating out of the palm of her hand and I could hear squeals of delight coming from the classroom that Travon was teaching in. All in all the entire group was loved not only by the students but also the staff. To cap off the three days of English classes there was an epic dance party last night. Everyone was dancing, sweating, and having a blast even though the room was practically a sauna (I just want to put it out there that Preston and Haley M. had some killer dance moves).

The village home stays were very interesting. I will say that it was challenging to communicate with our families seeing as they spoke no English and we speak very little Hindi. Lana had a hard time trying to explaining her fire dancing staff to our host family, and I have to say that it was pretty funny. It was really awesome to get a perspective on the living situations of families in India in a village compared to the hustle and bustle of our city home stays in Jaipur. We slept under the stars and rose early to help our families with their daily chores before going to teach later in the morning.

This morning, we  awoke early to scale the neighboring mountain. It was very steep but ultimately rewarding with the beautiful view from the top. It was just a little taste of our soon-approaching Himalayan trek. Tomorrow we are headed to Mcleod Ganj for our last home stays with Tibetan families!

March 26

A lot has happened this past week and a half and like a toddler with a tower of Legos, I’m about to break it down for y’all. After a month and some time we’ve finally been through our first desert city here in India which was Jaisalmer and boy did it get hot.

We finally got see how a gingerbread man/woman in an oven feels like but aside from the heat this place was neat. There was this giant fort and inside of it was a market area which was super cool. While in this town, we got to go do the camel safari which consisted of venturing many old historical landmarks and of course riding camels! After riding camels, we got to play in the sand dunes and while some of the group chilled out in the sand, some others were throwing a frisbee and it was absolutely a blast! And not to mention, right before we all laid in a circle around our camp fire under the stars, we got to celebrate my 19th birthday and share a birthday cake in the desert which surprisingly for riding on a camel was still in one piece and was very beautiful!

The morning after we had rode the camels back and this time the camels were going faster than usual which made for a very bumpy but awesome ride back. From there, we made our way to Jaipur where we are having our first home stay experiences with locals here. We were also able to go see a Bollywood movie that was super dramatic and full of plot twists that made for an eventful first day here. Fortunately for us, we were also here for a holiday that happens once a year called Holi!! This was a very interesting day and was definitely a bright one. We all got to throw colors and paints at each other and run the streets putting colors on other locals. There’s still paint in a lot our scalps and it was just an incredible day. There’s a lot of little details within these days but these are just a glimpse of the many adventures we had and there will definitely be pictures later! Til next time.