Hello world, and happy 2014! I know that we're already a third through the year, but things are just starting to get exciting. School is over, the sun is shining, boxes are being packed.
I've had a relatively good fourth (third?) school year. Nothing really too interesting to comment on. I'm just happy that I have one more year left, although I don't know where that'll take me. But as for my current plans, I am going to be in Mizoram, India in just over one week! Scary, exciting, unknown and new adventures await!
Mizoram is in the eastern part of India, that isn't really connected geographically or culturally to the main part of India. Apparently, it's more culturally like Bangladesh and Myanmar, its neighbours to the west and east, respectively. It was colonized by the British and was never really restored to its roots like the rest of India was; the population is mostly Christian, for example, while the rest of India is mostly Hindu. It's mountainous and breathtakingly gorgeous, or so I've heard. And apparently incredibly hot: the weather forecast for the upcoming week is a high of 42° and a low of 27°.
|The red part in the North-East is where I'm going to be for an entire month|
I'm going with a group of eight other students, and while I don't know them very well at the moment I know we will know everyone's deepest secrets and annoying habits in a couple of weeks. The volunteer group I'm going with is called Global Youth Volunteer Network and they organize these trips all over the world. My friends have gone to Kenya, Peru, Brazil, and Thailand with this same organization. The trip that I'm going on is largely a relationship building one, meaning that we won't be doing much or any physical labour, but rather working within the community. We are going to have many opportunities to meet new people and speak with them; we're going to be working in a malaria clinic, with farmers, and in an orphanage (what I am most excited for). I have no idea what to expect in terms of the experience I'll gain - but I think that's better than having ideals already in my head.
It'll take us three days of travelling there and back: a 7 hour flight to Brussels, an 8 hour flight to New Delhi, a 10 hour over-night layover in Delhi, and then three more flights and a 6 hour bus ride to our final destination. Probably the most travelling that any of us will do in such a short span of time. We'll be in India for one month, and at the end of that month we will be spending a couple of days in Kolkata to do some tourist things. I can't even imagine the stark contrast between Mizoram and Kolkata. I hope to get some photos that can illustrate what my time was like there! Hopefully my camera skills don't fail me.
But before I do that I have boxes to pack and to move house. Even though school's over, there's no break.
I'll update you on my month once I'm back. Hope you're all enjoying the warmer weather!