The Luckiest

2:00 PM, March 15th, 2013 – On a bus from Agra to Delhi.

As the group convened at Logan Airport on Monday, everyone was wondering where Mr. Nemitz was.  The whole group had arrived to the airport at the time that we were supposed to except the two leaders, Mr. Nemitz and Ms. Yun (who would like me to cite circumstances beyond their control as the culprit…but I’ll let the readers be the judge).  Once they arrived, we promptly checked all of our bags in the British Airways counter—18 in total with all the items we are bringing for the Himalaya Public School—and moved through security to get on the first of our first flight, to London.  But us catching our flight with time to spare wasn’t what made us the luckiest…

Over a day later (including time zone changes) we finally arrived in India at around 2:00 AM on Wednesday. While Ms. Yun and Mr. Nemitz went to buy SIM cards for their phones, Molly, Ben, and I went outside to try to find our drivers. When we tried to go back in the airport, an Indian Army Man demanded to see our passports and not allowing us to reenter the airport unless we showed them. It was unclear how serious they were, because they soon let us pass. As we left the Delhi Airport, Max was having many epiphanies about us being in India, constantly saying to the group “Whoa guys, we are actually in India.”  But finally making it to India wasn’t what made us the luckiest…

When we woke up later that same morning, we left the bed and breakfast where we had stayed and got on a bus and headed for downtown Delhi.  The streets of India are much different than those of the United States.  Here, it is customary to constantly honk and pass and drivers manage to squeeze five cars wide in a road with only three lanes.  But us surviving India traffic wasn’t what made us the luckiest…

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We made it to a famous archeological site in New Delhi, the Qutb Minar, when the group started to notice the fascination the Indians had with us. It was like we were celebrities or at least had the Kardashians with us.  In addition to constant following and staring, Sydney and I were asked multiple times by men to pose for pictures with their wives.  We also encountered problems concerning the difference in money from the US to India.  This trend continued in our six hour bus ride to Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.  As we drove, we were constantly stared and waved at and we made sure to return the favor.  But being the center of attention wasn’t what made us the luckiest...

Upon reaching Agra in the late night after the ride, we slept in another bed and breakfast then woke up early the next morning to reach all the sights.  We first went to the Agra Fort, a huge, ancient fort in the middle of Agra.  We walked around the fort and learned about how the British stole all the gold and dried up the river in Agra and also learned about how the king at Agra Fort had 367 concubines!  After we left the Fort, we went to the world famous Taj Mahal.  When we got there we realized that all the hype was warranted, as it was amazingly beautiful.  After we got to the gardens of the Taj Mahal, Molly was the first to rush to try to get the famous photo holding the Taj Mahal.  After venturing around the Taj, we went to have lunch, complete with an outdoor hookah bar, for a chance to try out Indian culture. In the courtyard of the restaurant, Nate learned from a musician how to play the sitar.  But going to all these sights in Agra wasn’t what made us the luckiest…

Having traveled so far and seen so much in less than 48 hours, the group was very tired, but our guide insisted that we drive across the river from the Taj Mahal, where he said we could get a very good view of the sun setting.  Once we got there we ventured around the river bank for a while and watched the sun set through the thick haze on the horizon.  As we were leaving, Lizzy screamed that she had been pooped on by a bird, a direct hit on the right shoulder.  We told her that it was good luck. Ben replied by telling her “If you get pooped on twice, you are very lucky” and within two minutes Lizzy was hit again, this time on the eyelid. For all of our collective good fortune so far, there is no doubt that Lizzy has been the luckiest.

By Peter Dunphy

 

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