So much has happened over the last week. Bapa has set up numerous field trips for the group to go on, ranging from yoga in the desert at sunrise, to visiting the wetlands and numerous Temples. We also had the chance to go the city of Ahmedabad for a day of basically sightseeing and eating. As our first time in an Indian city, it felt as though I was in a movie. I have seen shows that depict Asia in this light. People are everywhere, there are shops left and right, the occasional cow and pig crossing traffic, and endless noise. Without a doubt, as a group of “others,” we still remain the center of attention. Ahmedabad is the largest city in the province of Gujarat, and is a mega center that has an industrialized, yet rural feel.
However, first I think it is imperative that I introduce you to “Indian Standard Time.” India is a rich cultural country. India has a unique and exotic cuisine rich in flavors and spices. Indians, however, have no sense of time. None. Nada. At least, not in the American sense. Indians do have patience.
Maybe, as an American westerner, my sense of punctuality is pretty on point. What I am trying to articulate is that as a soon to be senior in college, and having grown up in an American household; when someone tells you to be ready at, say 8:00 am, you are normally there five minutes early. This unspoken rule (or spoken) of promptness holds especially true when one is in a new situation, with new people, or with people of high importance.
However, in India, time is not of the essence. As a group, we had to come to realize and acknowledge that our American sense of time was useless in India. For, no matter what time you were given to be ready by for an activity, you had to give or take an hour or two.
And so, an assortment of valuable lessons were learned by all on the trip:
- Patience is a virtue. When you find yourself losing your patience because you were ready on time but the drivers were an hour late, just remember to breathe in and breathe out.
- Adapting to new situations isn’t easy when you have no idea what you are doing. Remember, this isn’t the movies.
- Take everyone with a grain of salt, meaning: if someone says 8:00 am, do not kill yourself trying to get there five minutes early. Relax, take a minute to reflect, and stroll in when the time calls.
So, for the trip to the desert at sunrise, where we were supposed to be ready to leave the palace at 5:00 am sharp. And, as one can predict, 5:00 am served merely as a guide for the time we were to leave. As our drivers arrived exceptionally late, our patience, as a group, was definitely put to the test.
Here are some pictures from the week, including the desert yoga at sunrise, the wetlands, and our first trip to an Indian city.