Monday, June 15, 2015
Sunday, June 14, 2015
P.S. Amanda wants to wish her grandmother a happy birthday.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Monday, June 8, 2015
Today changed us. We began the day with an authentic Indian breakfast. Always filling up our stomachs to the brim to start the day with energy. Following the spice filled breakfast we did an icebreaker as a group to get the blood flowing for the adventure we had awaiting us. Before we headed to the Dharavi slums we had a special speaker, our very own Susan Lambert. She told us her leadership journey which included listening to people's stories, walking with others, and pride. Her story set the tone for the day as we walked with others. For most people we walked right out of our comfort zone into Dharavi. The tour of Dharavi is not where our adventure began, it started with a chaotic crossing on streets to get to the jam packed bus stop. From there we took the local Indian train with our three tour guides. Little did we know that what we were about to experience in Dharavi would impact us as individuals and as a group. Krishna, one of our leaders and the founder of Reality Tours in the Dharavi slums, tried to brief us on what Dharavi was going to be like, but as we walked into the eye opening experience we realized that no briefing would do this justice. We split into three groups and headed off to our tours. The efficiency within Dharavi made us wonder why it is considered a "slum." Everybody was working hard to get the rupees necessary to support their families. If everybody in America worked as hard as this densely populated community, we would an even more powerful nation. The tour started with the commercial area and lead into the residential area. One thing that seemed to be shocking to everyone in our group was the happiness that surrounded the members of Dharavi, particularly the children. Whenever we passed children by, they would either show a big smile or say hi in the most exciting tones. After the tours we went back to the community center in Dharavi where there were students from Dharavi waiting to meet us. But before we engaged with them, there was an obvious change in perspective within the group. This perspective was about to change even more. We ate lunch with these people and then began a talent show. Once everybody had showed their talents, one of the community members turned on his music and began to teach us all dances. Before we knew it, we were all drenched in sweat having the most amazing time with people that we had met on an hour before. This experience seemed to be the greatest one so far to most people. After leaving the Dharavi the group as a whole felt almost a sense of guilt. We are ignorant to the world outside of our Dallas bubble, but today changed us. After this emotional and physically tiring opportunity, we took local Indian taxis back to the hotel. The taxi is an adventure that's for sure. We could hear the honks ringing in our ears for hours after. When we arrived back at the hotel, we got cleaned up and headed to Raunak's family's house for dinner. The excitement in everyone was outstanding. His family was a blessing to have during this trip and the welcomed us with open arms. The dinner they made us was mouth watering, and the hospitality was even better. Following this, we ended our day with a taxi ride back to the hotel and some group time to reflect on our day and prepare us for what was to come in Chinchoti. What an amazing day we had - we are forever changed from this experience and extremely blessed to have this opportunity.
On our train ride to Dharavi, Rick, Chetan, Sunny, and Krishna demonstrate what rush hour on the train is like. Chetan and Sunny work with Krishna at Reality Tours.