Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The Adventure Begins!
My roommates are all sleeping, but I’m jetlagged so I’ve been up for awhile and figured that I would take this opportunity to update everybody!
I had a crazy few weeks leading up to this after finding out that I was selected for the Fishel Fellowship and that my first stop would be in India 2 weeks later! After a 5 month interview process, it was an incredible feeling to know that so many people believed in me and were confident that I could be successful with this fellowship. Everybody at the JDC and Federation has been amazing and so helpful, and they let me show up a week late to the India program so that I could attend my UCLA graduation. I am also thankful for the amount of support that I’ve received from friends, family, and even acquaintances. I’m really glad that I was able to have my graduation as a way to get all of my family and friends together say goodbye before embarking on this adventure!
I got into Mumbai late last night after about a 30 hour journey. I had my first experience with how genuinely kind Indian people are before I even got off the plane. I was talking to the Indian guy sitting next to me, and I mentioned that I left my camera at home and asked if there were any places he recommended for buying a new one. He immediately wrote down a bunch of places and told me that he would go with me to make sure I got a good deal and gave me his number. He also insisted that I use his phone to call the people from my program even though I assured him they would be at the airport waiting for me with a sign.
I was picked up from the airport by a driver to take me the 1 hour drive to Thane, the area my apartment is in. I have been in some crazy driving situations, but nothing comes close to driving in Mumbai. First of all, there are no lanes, so cars and rickshaws are swerving all over the place. That combined with dogs and people walking through cars and the perpetual honking made for a very exciting ride.
When I got to the apartment, everybody including the program director, Jacob, was waiting up to welcome me. The other 5 girls are really nice, and they all seem to know their way around already. Hopefully I can catch up! After smashing my head on a moving ceiling fan (so typical Brianna), I decided it was time for bed.
Disclaimer: these postings are my own and don't necessarily represent the opinions of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee or the Jewish Federation.