Thursday, June 18, 2009


It's incredible how long a week can seem. It's been just over a week since we've all been back, and the adjustments have come slowly and steadily. Amazing how quickly you become attached to people, and how different it is to not be around them every day like you once were. I miss all of you to death, and I've no idea how long it'll take before I'm used to not waking up and seeing everyone in the morning. I can honestly say India was a life-changing experience. Somewhere in between the screeching streets of Delhi, the serene and abandoned Mughal temples in Agra, and the incredible natural beauty of Rishikesh, you find something in India that stays and comes back home with you. I really felt like we were moving up in levels of consciousness every step of our trip, from the crowded mess of Delhi where it's hard to hear yourself think, to the almost complete quiet of places like Dharamsala. I was surprised to find Delhi was far calmer, far quieter than I remembered when we returned at the end of the trip, but I assume that had more to do with my mindset than Delhi itself. Everyone's demeanor and attitude was entirely different our second round through Delhi, compared to our first. It was amazing seeing that transformation firsthand as we came full-circle. While I'm happy to be home (and around tap water I can drink without panic attacks), I can't help but regret that we didn't have more time in that wonderful country. This is a journey I know I'll take with me for the rest of my life, and has provided me with enough stories to fill an entire book (or two).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

so weirrrrrd...

it's so strange being back in the good ol' u.s. of a.  i never really experienced the "culture shock" when first arriving in india, but now that i'm back in the states i think i am experiencing it.  it's funny... the silly things you take for granted.  like regular sized rolls of toilet paper, normal straws, "western" toilets, shorts and tank tops being acceptable almost anywhere anytime, ice, other things that are cold, etc etc.  i loved india, and i plan on going back fo sho, but right now, it's so good to be home.  it was a wild and crazy adventure and i'm so lucky i got to be a part of it, and get to meet a bunch of really cool, different kinds of people.  looooooved iiiiiit!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


हेललो, I'll try to make this my last blog entry. I've uploaded some pictures of our trek up Triund. वे हद अ (I'm sorry it keeps typing in hindi). umm, as we hiked up the trail a Golden Eagle launched off of it's nest a few feet from our heads and then floated around us for the rest of the day, sometimes with a couple of others. At the "top" (there really isn't a top it all seems to keep going up and up and up into space) we were greeted by a some huts serving dal and rice and chai. We chilled up there for a while, literally, as it got right cold and we were all sweaty and wet. Just as we were sipping our hot Chai a thunder storm upon us and hailed like I've never seen before. We huddled under the awning of the shack, Tibetans, Indians, Brits, and us. I got this cool picture of the pack mule eating the hail with Monsignor Seth in the background. We started to head down the other side of the mountian and this way we gazed upon all of Dharamsala, we could see the new cricket stadium close to where the Rajastani Slums were, and we could see the Dalai Lama's home in exile.
Then we got hailed on with no where to hide. Hail doesn't really hurt all that bad. Hail no.
Now that I'm back to Greenville everything seems so slow and empty. I guess because everyone's away for summer. I got real sick my first day back from something I ate at the Dehli airport and had a high fever. It sucked.
Seeing India is essential to any world traveler. I think I may have to put new people I meet into two categories: been to india or not been to india.
Namaskar, g.

India, you've changed my view on life, permanantly and for the better.

All I can say is thank God/Buddha/Vishnu/Ganesh/His Holiness the XIVth, etc for good ol' American wifi! India has definitely changed my views of the world in general. It's amazing to realize the beauty of the things we take for granted, yet at the same time how useless it is that we take them for granted in the first place. I'd give up wifi for a view of the beautiful Himalayas and the clean fresh air each morning as I wake up. I've been to Canada briefly, but never really outside of the states in my life (definitely not this far!) The world is incredible. India is part of the proof for that claim. The people in this world are incredible. The people on this trip also apply to that. I had some great fun with you guys and really enjoyed the trip. Delhi has made the smell of a bowel movement almost reminiscent of good times. Agra has made me realize that I can get ripped off by an 8 year old and not even realize it for weeks. Rishikesh has made me realize that a prepubescent teen could row a raft better than I and green Indian peppers are something that should be avoided if one likes his or her own taste buds. Dharmsala has made me realize a variety of things; one that we take so much for granted, two that we have so much more that we could do for others less fortunate, and three the uselessness of the things that we actually take for granted. All in all, this trip has changed my life. I love everyone on the trip (the plane post might have been a little over the top and I apologize; sleep deprivation and utter confusion can do that, I just didn't expect such vulgar replies) and I've found all of you to be completely unique and interesting individuals. Just the fact that you were all willing to pack up a few bags and head off to India to explore in itself assures me that you all have the mentality and gusto to go and do anything you want. It's people that venture out to see things like that that end up going along and pursuing big dreams. I hope to hear from most of you in the future, and I wish you all the best of luck. P.S. Sorry if my jokes weren't of your taste; just trying to lighten the mood while we were in such an insane environment, I didn't realize it was taken as badly as it was.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Thank you for all the deep breaths and feelings of freedom. Thank you for all your amazing colors painted on the building walls and womens clothes. Thank you for breakfest, lunch and dinner with incredible people that have now become more like family. Thank you for letting your rooftops be our "living" room and the stars and moon our light. Thank you for being my place of wonder and adventure. I've truly enjoyed exploring and figuring you out. Unveiling and rediscovering myself in the process, thank you for the beautiful dance. Thank you for challenging me mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Thank you for really showing me what's important. And most of all thank you India for letting me fall in love with you...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So what was actually learned?

I'm editing this post out, since it's only caused controversy and I really didn't intend to. I really like you guys and I enjoyed every second of the trip. I'm sorry to have caused any problems and really didn't mean to attack anyone in any sort of way. - Blair

Warning: Our Final Leave

So, I need an extra two blog entries as I’m told, and I’ll go ahead and use this one as a warning for the next one. If you can’t handle having your issues in group membership and compassion for others (which if ANYTHING, this trip should have had some effect on that) then avoid the next blog entry; because as much as I enjoyed the trip with you people and the close bond I got with everyone during the trip, something really disappointed me today and I’m going to rail hard on it. I mean no offense to anyone, and no personal insults will be made, but the mentality of the group needs to finally take it’s toll and be reviewed in a blunt matter, and that is what I’ll be doing. I sit on the plane to Raleigh right now typing this blog, just prepping for the correct thing to say without trying to offend anyone, but to call out faults that I believe need to be brought up to everyone’s attention. I am not the perfect person; I do not claim to be anywhere near even what I would consider a good person. There are people in the Peace Corps and non-profit organizations trying to make the world a better place that are good people; I’m not one of them at this stage in my life, and I don’t know if I ever will be. Honestly, I believe I’m a pretty crappy person, when I consider myself in general; but I do hold ethical standards to benefit human beings in general, and when it comes to putting people in a bad/terrifying situation by themselves without any remorse for the action of it crosses the line for me. So if you don’t want to hear these statements, then keep your distance from the next post by myself.