I leave the ICRISAT campus in a few hours. I get on a plane, and fly to Germany, Chicago, and then Des Moines. It doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t seem like that place exists anymore. It doesn’t seem like two months have passed so quickly. It doesn’t seem possible that I am this sad about leaving. It doesn’t seem possible that I am this excited to come home.
I can say “adios!” to the mosquito bites, the mosquito net, the leaking bathroom, the traffic that (miraculously) hasn’t killed me. There are some things that I don’t feel ready to leave. India has taught me so much, but there’s so much more to learn and so much more to do.
How can I say goodbye (maybe forever) to the people that have become my India family? Being thrown into a foreign country has a way of making people open up and become a lot closer a lot faster. Leaving my friends from around the world is hard. It’s not like leaving home. I can always go home. But here, we are all from different countries. Will we ever be together again?
There are so many people that have made this experience so amazing. The people at my office have been so sweet. They answered ridiculous questions, told me the good sights to see, taught me about India (and this was all in addition to teaching me about home gardens, poverty, and malnutrition!). They have taken a genuine interest, and showed genuine kindness, and I can never say thank you enough.
My India family–Leah, Christen, Sarah, Charlie, and Sol. These are the people that I have shared the minute details of my days with, the people that fearlessly explore Hyderabad with me, the people that share my each and every evening. I will miss them more than I can say.
I have this good feeling though, despite my sadness. I did what I came here to do. I came for an experience, to become more enlightened about poverty and world hunger. I have had something beyond an experience, I’ve had an adventure. I have been inspired. I have made myself a family, learned to navigate myself through a foreign country, and done things I NEVER thought I had in me.
I can easily say that this was the best summer of my young life. Even though I spent the summer away from home, I still have people there to thank. Mom and Dad stayed in touch with me, took care of things and home that I needed done, and were constantly supporting me, helping me with my research, and listening to my joys and problems. My siblings managed to give me a hard time, and I will be glad to see them again too. My group of friends at home have been incredibly supportive. Those of you that stayed in touch and told me about your days and weeks, I loved hearing that. I wish I could better describe my experience to you.
As I leave, I don’t know how I feel, I am a literal roller coaster of emotions, and maybe the plane ride can knock some sense into me. Infinite thanks to everyone, and love to all of my faithful blog readers, I’m glad I could share this.
Once I’m home, I’ll post again and draw this blog to a close. Farewell, India. I hope to meet again!