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India | Bricks, Balla, And Bollywood

March 11, 2018

Today was our first official day in Balla with our homestays and the best one so far. To kick the day off: Cole, Joe, Luke, Miles, Hayden and I got out of bed at around 6:30. We woke up to some freshly made chai tea and admired the various types of flowers on the patio, and the mountains in the distance. After we had eggs and chapati for breakfast, we headed down to our meeting point and broke into two different groups for two different construction sites. When we started to build the foundation for the bathroom, we started to see some children poke their heads out to stare at us foreign westerners. When we would turn to them to say hi, they would shy away and try to hide. So, to make them feel comfortable with us, we asked Divya, our travel guide, to teach us some common phrases. We would say “hi” to a little boy and he would always respond with a loud voice and a big smile. Eventually, we got him and a couple of his siblings to come over to Joe, Hayden, Miles and me and we would try out some new questions like “what is your name?” and “how are you?” and smiles were radiating on all of their faces. After a while, we started having brief conversations with people on the street and we got to know a ton of people from different age groups and religious backgrounds. This was a really cool experience for me because I got to use some very basic phrases but they still had a big effect. One of my observations so far has been just how hospitable everyone has been. First off, we have chai tea so much. We will be working hard or playing cards and the families will bring out tea for everyone. Although I’ve never been a big fan of tea, the tea that is served with generosity and happiness has charged my mind. The tour guides we’ve been with haven’t asked them at all to make it, but they just keep on coming. This is really touching because of how generous they are to foreigners. We finished off the day by learning a “Bollywood” dance sequence that will be performed in two days from now! Wish us luck!