The Journey Begins
Our trip started at 4:45 am in Omaha. We all arrived at the airport excited and ready to start the journey to India. After our flight to Atlanta, we ran into a luggage fiasco. We waited for a while at baggage claim and realized that Julia’s bag never got on the Omaha flight. This led to numerous phone calls between airports, Julia, and Julia’s wonderful mother.
During our layover at the Atlanta airport, everyone had a certain meal that they wanted as their “last meal” in America, as we were preparing ourselves for eating nothing but Indian food for two weeks. Some people chose T.J.I Friday’s, while others chose Chinese or Popeye’s chicken.
The eight-hour layover in Atlanta was long to say the least, but gave us all a chance to get to know each other more. Some people thought that because we were headed somewhere warm and tropical that they wouldn’t need jackets (i.e., Teagan and Paul). They quickly discovered that airports and airplanes are very cold. The blankets distributed on the next flights became a necessity for all.
After an eight-hour flight to Amsterdam, we were more than ready to get off the plane and stretch our legs. However, because we had minimal time before our next flight, we were unable to venture far around the airport.
We boarded our final flight for India and we all had the intentions of staying awake the entire flight. We knew that once we landed in Mumbai it would be late and time for bed. However, some of us did not succeed, which made getting a good night’s rest before our first day difficult.
Once we arrived in Mumbai, the first thing we noticed was the smell. Swampy, petroleum, and “the smell of people” were all used by group members to describe the smell of India. Without even exiting the airport, we felt the hot, humid air. Once we collected our baggage, we continued out the airport doors to meet our tour guide, Manjeek. Poor Julia’s luggage never did show up. Manjeek was waiting for us alongside hundreds of other people waiting outside the airport. Surprisingly, it did not take much time to find our welcoming tour guide.
We got on our tour bus to be transported to our hotel. We immediately noticed the bumpy roads and the order in the traffic. Motorcycles weaved in and out of traffic causing cars to have to slam on their brakes at times, which didn’t seem to phase Indian drivers. Car horns were constantly honking, which didn’t seem to have much of a purpose like it does in America. We noticed that it was unlike America in the way that there were people out everywhere at 1:00 a.m. on a Monday. Some people were talking with friends on the side of the road, while others appeared to be barbequing with fire pits. Many families had made the sidewalk their bed for the night.
Even though we only got a small taste of India on our first night, what we did see makes us excited for the adventures and learning experiences to come.
Sarah and Bre
P.S. Sorry about the delay. We got in late, and started early. Also, the internet connection is not that great.