Dear Mountain (?) Side View,
You are quite beautiful. With your curvy roads and scattered homes. I wonder if I will be able to call you a mountain side view for much longer? Soon I will camp below the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas and I may see you as only a hill side view afterwards. Talking to you now I can only imagine.
One of the biggest challenges I anticipated when traveling to India was the food. I have always been somewhat of a picky eater and I was worried there wouldn’t be anything I would want to eat. To help mitigate this problem, I packed a couple snacks which of course included goldfish. After being here for two days though I haven’t been tempted to eat a single goldfish! The food at the Hanifl Center is served in a cafeteria. This means that there are always a couple options to choose from. Each time the server will say what the dishes are, but if I am being completely honest I haven’t a clue to what he says. The only thing I do understand is when he says vegetarian and non-vegetarian. In order to figure out what I like, I have been starting each meal by trying a small scoop of everything. If I like something I will then go back for seconds, sometimes even thirds. The only downside to the food is the lack of beef, which I eat a lot of back home. This is because cows are consider sacred to a lot of people in India which just adds to one of their many norms.
Another cultural norms of India is to drink a lot of chai. This norm worried me because I don’t particularly like the taste of tea and I didn’t want to offend anyone by saying no. I must admit though, that I surprisingly love the taste of chai! During our stay at the Hanifl Center we have been having a mid-morning chai and a late afternoon chai tea. This gives us the opportunity to take a break and chat for a bit. Our group has gotten considerably more talkative since being here. I look forward to having much more chai!
It seems that the most beneficial part of this trip will be the debriefs we have each night. One of the prompts we will be discussing is how the concept of leadership was applied each day. Even though we only did a small hike today (the eyebrow trail), we all had something to talk about. For myself there was a moment on the trail when I passed our designated leader and was in the front. I quickly realized this though and dropped back. The reason why I did this, was because I wasn’t comfortable setting the pace of the group. I have often been in situations where the first person who sets the pace either travels way too fast or too slow. At first I felt like I didn’t want this responsibility. After further reflection though, I realize that I could of kept going. By being mindful of such a thing as pace is a reason to lead, not to fall back. By participating in tonight’s debrief I was able to realize this, which supports the notion that leaders can be made. I believe the hardest part about becoming a good leader is by mastering this reflection piece.
Unfortunately the sun has set, so I will have to wait till tomorrow to see you again. Goodnight my mountain (?) side view, I look forward to tomorrow.
<3/The Girl in the Silly Green Hat