Of all the amazing things I have seen on this rally, the cities were insane. I found the streets chaotic with few rules and drivers who swerve, honk, pass with head on traffic, and pay little attention to pedestrians. The air and streets are unclean and smelly. Within the cities, my most difficult experiences involved travel.
My travel experience in India was harrowing in all forms of transportation. One of the hardest ways to travel was by train. The trains and the stations were crowded with people. I frequently found our group racing back and forth beside the train searching for our car. In this chaos though, eventually some helpful man would lead us to the right car. Even with train tickets, we had to remove other passengers from our sleeping car beds so we could sleep. Once, my dad got into quite a heated debate and had to push and shout to get other passengers to give us our seats. Trains were scary, but rickshaws were downright dangerous.
As my readers know, we had a serious accident in our rickshaws. After this experience, traveling in rickshaws became very scary and stressful for me. Drivers often drove too fast, too close, and turned too quickly. On several occasions, I was in tears while traveling the chaotic streets, fearing for my safety. In fear of trains and rickshaws, we turned to travel by car.
|The consequence of the rickshaw crash|
The most amazing aspect of our India adventure has been the people. In the rural areas, the villagers helped each other and cared for one another like family. It seemed as if entire villages help raise all the children. They even called their fellow neighbors brother and sister. The grown ups all fetched water from the community wells and herded their mammals of choice through the dirt paths of the village. The people I met, invited me for a cup of tea, fed me, and became my friends. The Indian doctors and members of our Rally for Health team, welcomed me, helped me, and as I left, even gave me gifts.
Leaving India, I am glad to be away form the stress and chaos but will miss the family connections I have seen and the friends I have met. Even though India is one of the coolest places on earth... see ya in Thailand!
Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!
Today my parents bought me a camera with full manual mode and I am so excited (and a little overwhelmed) to use it!