Monday, December 9, 2013

On the Road: Agra, Delhi, and Dehradun

Sorry for the long delay! We have been travelling pretty hardcore these last few days but are happy to now be settled for a couple days in Rajpur in the foothills of the Himalyas.

From Varanasi we went onto Agra to see Agra Fort and of course the Taj Mahal!!! What an unreal experience! We all had a wonderful time taking pictures.

Batch 5 at the Taj Mahal!
Next morning early we headed to Delhi for the day. First we went on a tour of the streets with an organization that rescues and restores street children. The best part was that the tour was given by a man who used to live on the streets so we got a first-hand perspective! For lunch we ate at the world famous Karims restaurant which used to serve food to kings until they made it available to the common man. The group split up in order to cover more ground so some people saw the street kids dance while others went to see Suffi singing. Both ended up to be very good experiences!

That night we boarded the train for Rajpur which is a hillstation in the foothills of the Himalyas. While it is much colder, the beauty around us is astounding! These hills are stunning and it is wonderful to be in the peace and quiet after the busyness of the other cities we have visited. We are taking time to rest and refresh as well as debrief our semester in India. We also took time to go white water rafting on the Ganges river! The Ganges flows out of the Himalyas so it is cold and clear (quite different from how it looks when it reaches Varanasi). Everyone enjoyed their experience and  some even cliff jumped into the mighty Ganges!

Ready to raft!
We have 2 more days here in India before returning back to our homes. While we are excited to see our family, friends, and pets and to eat our favourite foods and see familiar sites, for many leaving will be bitter sweet. Deep friendships have been formed and lives have been changed from this experience in India. We will arrive in the airport with suitcases full of dirty clothes and presents; hearts full of numerous stories to share about our experiences; and probably a bit of Indian soil still clinging to our shoes! See you soon!

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