By: Kelsey Mortimore
When first arriving in India, I was overwhelmed by all of my senses that were being overstimulated. The smells, sounds and sights filled me. As we were driving from our airport the Bangalore team was constantly scanning the roads, watching the thousands of motorcycles and tuk tuks passing by. It seemed like there was no uniform rules of the road. No one was using their blinker, and there were no lanes. But somehow, every person knew exactly how to get where they wanted to go and everyone moved in uniform. It was organized, pure chaos.
The craziness of the streets continued. Not only the chaos of the roads, but chaos of everything. Culture shock hit real hard when we entered each restaurant, and saw that most people don’t wear shoes in public places. Not only that, but people everywhere stared at our team as if we were aliens. We had a hard time adjusting to the differences, but tried to understand more about our surroundings in India. As time went on, and we got more comfortable with our surroundings, and we became more confident while crossing the road. By the end of the trip, we had conquered our fears. It seemed as though crossing the road was a methaphor for our entire experience. At first, people were hesitant and mistrusting. By the end, we understood how to get our way around and navigate this foreign place we called home for two weeks. What once was a terrifying and scary thing, became easier and easier as time went on. Once we push past our comfort zones, you can learn more about your environment and others.