I finally made it to India! So much has happened, and I have only been here two weeks. It is a very different world here compared to the United States. The first week was orientation and took place in a village called Durshet, which is in the rural hills a few hours from Pune. It is beautiful there, and the entire lodge was surrounded by hills and exotic looking plants. I shared a bungalow with three other girls (and a few rats as well….), and I experienced my first bucket shower. At first I felt a bit pouty about it. But now I love it, and it saves a lot of water. You just fill a big bucket of water (which isn’t always warm), and then you use a little cup to pour water over yourself. It is very refreshing and more environmentally friendly than showers, which waste a lot of water.
During orientation we were introduced to a yoga session, a game of cricket (which is super popular here), local village games, and amazing food. We were taught cultural etiquette and safety, and learned a few phrases of Marathi (the language of the region) to help us get by. We hiked to a local village to see how the people live there, and we all were taken to visit a Hindu temple as well. Orientation was very enlightening, and was a slow, rural introduction to the Indian way of life. It was a good stepping stone to city life which is busier, louder, and much more crowded. That was a summary of my first week! There are some pictures below.