As I got dropped off at the Boston airport, it hadn’t hit me yet that I was going to India! I began to get nervous, panicking hoping that I packed everything I needed to. Hoping that I would make friends and most importantly do well in this class in such a short period of time. I said my goodbyes to my boyfriend and headed to my gate E.
Shortly we boarded the plane. First to Frankfurt. I sat in the seat on the plane mapping out what I would do on this 6-hour plane ride. I picked up my new read The Thing around your neck by Chimamanda Adichie. 2 meals and 2 snacks later we arrived in Frankfurt. The layover was long. I wanted time to fly by but it didn’t. I decided to finish my book to ease up time and soon enough it was 12:05 pm and time to board the next plane. We boarded and as I sat in my seat I knew that this would be it. Final stretch. After this flight, I will be in India! I braced myself with some music and watched movies. Girls trip, Wonder woman were my picks. 2 meals and 2 snacks later we arrived in Bangalore. I was one of the last people to get off the plane. I began to get nervous again. I walked around the corner and followed the signs that led me to the e-visa tourist line where we were to check in. After checking in I met up with the rest of the UMass Lowell team. We conversed about our journey, our expectations, and discussed currency in India. We were all happy to see one another but very tired as well. You could see it in our faces.
Soon enough we met up with Professor Mehta and his wife and boarded a bus to head to KLE Tech. As we embarked on the 7-hour journey in addition to the 24 hour one we just ended to get to India, I thought about how long this journey was thus far and how exhausting it was but I then thought about how amazing this opportunity was. Being able to meet all of these amazing people and having the opportunity to work with different people with different skills, backgrounds, experiences, and passions is something I dream of.
A little over 30 hours later we arrived at KLE Tech and were welcomed by professors, students, and kids. Everyone was so friendly! It was our first impression and set the tone for what this experience would be like. I am confident that it will be a great one.