India here we come!

Four flights, three days and more hours without sleep than I care to know but I am finally in here in Hubli! Today was an exciting albeit long day and was an adventure from start to finish. After meeting with the group in Bengaluru we as a group were hungry and decided to get some KFC (with an Indian twist). While I wasn’t sure what I was eating (it was called a chilly crunchy) it was delicious and I was envious that our chains do not have them here! The flight was one of the shortest I’ve had, it seemed like we were barely in the air! While I have been to quite a few airports the Hubli airport was a new experience. We landed and disembarked on the tarmac and a few minutes later another plane pulled up only a few hundred meters away! What a way to enter India!

The drive from the airport was an amazing experience, waving rickshaw drivers, wandering cows and beautiful buses met us throughout the ride. I was shocked by how happy and friendly the local Indians were! Everyone was waving back and seemed a little bit surprised on seeing us! When we got to the campus we were stunned by the beauty and explored meeting several interesting characters along the way (including several teachers-in-training). The campus is a sprawling landscaped place with beautiful buildings, palm trees, almond trees and two amazing fountains!

While we were exhausted we heard loud music and cheering and could not resist finding the source of the commotion. A few wrong turns, dead ends and fences later we finally found the entrance. The event coordinator was apprehensive and said that she had to double check if we were allowed. I could have never expected what was going to occur next.

We stumbled into a cultural event (run for and by the Indian students at KLE) and they were enthralled that Americans had come to see it. A crowd of what seemed like several thousand greeted us with cheers and brought us to the front row where we sat with the Principal of KLE. Dances, costumes, plays and fashion shows followed for a truly diverse introduction to Indian culture. The principal then surprised us and brought us onto the stage…and had us dance! As we left swarms of Indian students came to take selfies with us, shake our hands and thank us for sharing their culture. I am very excited to see what India has in store for us next and can’t wait for tomorrow!