Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ready, Set, GO?!

SO! I'm pretty much done with everything for preparing for India through CCS (Cross Cultural Solutions). I've received my visa, paid my program fee and definitely booked my flight. All that is left to do is to pack, check if my shots are completely up to date (which most are), and just completely being ready for the experience. But I don't feel like I am. I feel like I'm going to be thrown in the middle of the hustle and bustle of India; which technically will occur). Lately I've just been at home: reading, watching TV, studying Hindi and just meeting with some friends. It's pretty much has been low key, nothing to big. Except somethings like Posse Olympics and other meetups with friends; I'm just going to be relaxing which also kind of tenses me up. Doing nothing always brings my mind to India and what exactly I'll be doing there (which I'm still waiting on from the placements). This blog is just going to be short and sweet just updating on this experience, already it's going to be 24 days until my departure to India!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Awaiting summer

So to continue on the last post, here I am. Finally with a plane ticket to Dharamsala, an entry visa on its way and a long, new road of experiences for me. I still can't believe that I'll be going to India on the 25th of June and still won't believe it until I get there.

Cross Cultural Solutions places their volunteers in areas which they feel best fit the volunteer's skills. For example: teaching, health, women empowerment and other areas in which the community could benefit from. Hopefully I am placed in teaching English to younger students because that way I can provide and be provided with an interchanging language setting. I can teach English and pick up Hindi from the students, since my level will be lower than a kid's. =P

Hopes and fears? I'm scared of not being able to enjoy myself because of barriers. I can't speak the language, I don't really know the culture, a new and foreign cuisine, and I am an outsider looking in. When choosing India, I knew that I would need to pick up on Hindi which I was not afraid of doing. I could have chosen an area in Latin America, or even Russia (being that I know some) but instead I wanted to challenge myself. I hope to be somewhat proficient in Hindi by the end of my 6 week journey in Dharamsala, India. I hope to know a lot more of the ins and outs of India, learn some more about Bollywood, as well as more about myself.

So here I wait; for something new and scary. A flight half way around the world, or completely around the world? To an area unknown to me but only known by textbooks and classes. And a new experience that will rock my very core. Fasten your seat belts?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dharamsala, India 2009!

So Dharamsala, India!?! Who would have thought that I, a student from the Bronx would be traveling to the Himalayan Mountains in India? WHY did I want to go to India? WHAT will I do there? These are the questions I asked my myself as I started searching for internships to be a part of this summer. I did not know exactly where I wanted to go, but I knew that I wanted to go somewhere!

It was time I took advantage and "left my nest". I started searching through various websites of different internship and volunteer groups that I could join. Then I came across Cross Cultural Solutions, it was what I wanted! It was either between World Teach and Cross Cultural Solutions. Even though the latter was the more expensive, I was determined to make my dream to travel come true.

I looked at the different countries and decided India! I was always a bit interested about the Indian culture. We always talked about Hinduism in school and once I read
Life of a Pi for my English class in High School, I became more interested with Hinduism and its relation to other religions. Mainly, Hindi struck me as intriguing and it was fascinating to me. The script was different, the sounds were different; it was a linguistic adventure! I signed up for CCS (Cross Cultural Solutions) and decided that Dharamsala, India would be a great and amazing place to go to!

Once I was set on the idea, I began to endlessly search for scholarships and other forms of aid such as funds and grants.Luckily, after all the hard, long months I've been able to raise the entire fee! Which was quite a hefty amount! Now I just need to worry about the plane flight and spending money and I am well on my way to Dharamsala, India! I think that's all for now!