Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
It’s actually here. There is no turning back from reality now. We are leaving Mumbai in approximately six hours. I cannot quite grasp my emotions yet, however. It is a culmination of sorrow, regret, and apprehensive eagerness. I know that this experience like this will only come once in a lifetime, but I also know that what I take away from NISWARTH in terms of mentality and future action is even more important. I have come away from these three weeks with a burning inspiration to go out into the world, pursue my passion, and make change. I can no longer be content with simply standing on the sideline. Youth are the next generation- that is not going to change- so we have the responsibility to change the world and its vicious cycle.
I have learned so much here, seen so much here- I feel guilty going back to
I have laughed more on this trip than I believe I have during the entire last school year. Of that I am certain. I wish I could condense this trip into an essay or a five-minute speech, but I can’t. It just is not possible. No matter how much we try to explain what we did or saw or felt, no one but us will be able to understand. I wish everyone back home could be a part of NISWARTH. I am beyond grateful to have had this opportunity.
We are coming home soon. And we are coming home changed.Zahra Bhaiwala.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Today we presented at the Udyachal school and I started to realize just how lucky we were to have had this experience. Sure, there were days that we were sick and tired, emotionally overloaded, scared of what we were experiencing. But I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Many students approached us at the school and asked if we enjoyed Niswarth, if it was worth the trip. Instantly, I answered yes.
Last night, no one wanted to sleep, due to the fact that we knew the end was closing in. Not to be too cliché, but I just keep remembering that, yes, this is the end, but it’s the beginning of a new mindset for each one of us. Between Michael, Dr. Shaw, Mr. Housiaux, and Ms. Curci leaving last night, Aditya going to Delhi tomorrow, Alana embarking on an Ethiopian excursion, Tessa splitting off at Heathrow, and the final few returning to Andover, there will be tears. This experience has been incredible and I wouldn’t trade what I’ve done for the world.
I am changed. How I will apply this new self, I am still not sure. I can’t even completely put my finger on exactly what inside of me is different. I anticipate being temperamental on my return home. I am sure my eyes will see things differently and my heart will undoubtedly be confused at the way this world works, but I know good will come from it.
Today one girl at Udayachal asked if I would come back someday. I told her that I would love to—be it a gap year, a summer internship, or Taranjeet’s wedding. She asked if I would come back and visit the school, if I would see Neha and Ashwaryia, Kartik, Aditya, Soloni, and Piyush (I’m sorry guys, I know I spelled your names wrong!!). I told them that I would definitely see them.
“Do you promise?” she asked.
“I promise,” I replied. “I don’t know when, but I promise I’ll come back.”
And I plan on keeping that promise.
Todays dinner at my fellow udayachalite aditya was a really good experience.The bollywood movie we watched there was soooooo muchhh fun. But departing with scogs and the faculty members was a tearful farewell. That's when we realized how attatched we had got in just a matter of three weeks.
Going home is going to be so difficult. To say good bye to the PA kids is really tough. I'll miss them all. Anyways internet will be our saviour. All of us have got facebook accounts made and hope to keep in touch. We all have planned our follow up projects and are looking forward to being changemakers. WE ARE THE FUTURE CHANGE MAKERS!
UDAYACHAL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
On Wednesday, some of us visited the US consulate in Mumbai, and spoke with an official at the consulate, Michael Newbill. He provided us with the State Department's perspective on India and Mumbai's development. He also spoke with us about his background in the foreign service, and what life is like transferring every two years to a completely new coutnry. That evening, we were able to spend some time buying last-minute gifts for friends and family at home, and we went out to an excellent restaurant in South Mumbai.
It is hard to quantify the how this trip has affected me, and for the next few months, that will be a major goal for all of us. The most tangible effect that the trip has had on me is that it has sparked a desire to continue community service and begin participating in service work at Phillips Academy. However, this trip has also given me the opportunity to meet extremely successful, interesting people, who offer many different perspectives on urban development, as well as experiences that will last a lifetime. The most enjoyable and influential aspects of the trip for me were the visits to the various communities around Mumbai, such as the Dharavi community, the Cuffe Parade community, and the Mankhurd building complex. The fact that we are able to experience some of the aspects of life in two very distinct types of communities, the open air slum communities and the building communities, was amazing, but the fact that we were able to actually make a difference on the final day by cleaning a building and successfully petitioning for access to running clean water for the building really impacted us the most.
I am going to miss living and spending time with this amazing group of faculty and students. I would like to thank everyone who has made this trip possible, especially our two head faculty members, Mr. Mundra and Alana. Thanks for reading the blog, and we are looking forward to sharing our experiences with you first hand once we reach home.
-Aditya Mithal (Phillips Academy '10)
It was decided that we all would discuss about the most important topic-PRIVILEGE!
It was then that we understood the true meaning of PRIVELEGE.The activity that we had involved each one of us & made us feel really enthusiastic.Thoughts were just flowing in & out of our minds.Each one of us were told to note down the 8 top privileges we as students had in our lives.Then we were asked to eliminate one by one the things we could afford to lose in our lives which was quite tough by the end.We then had to chose one prime privilege.Aishwarya chose 'A supportive family'& saloni chose 'Living a healthy life'.We were really surprised as this activity was an eye-opener & made us more aware of our comforts.
We then also had a group discussion about the activities in all the three weeks which actually created an impact on each one of us.
In the evening we went to Aditya Bajaj's(an Udayachal student)place & had a wonderful time there.We watched a bollywood movie 'JAB WE MET'& enjoyed every bit of it.We then had a lovely home-made dinner(after 3 weeeks)& relished it to the fullest.
It was then that the toughest part came because Micahel,Mr.Housiaux,Miss Cursy,Dr.Shaw were leaving for Boston.It was an emotional moment for each one of us & some of us broke into tears.But we finally realized the truth that we had to depart.Today was a fun-filled day as well as an emotional evening!!!
-We'll miss u NISWARTH & ALL THE P.A KIDS!!!
............SALONI SHARMA & AISHWARYA NAIR(Udayachal students)!!!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Talking about an impressive personality, I also met this really catchy person at a dinner at the Godrej's residence on June 30th. Ms. Farzana Haque, who simply got my attention through her jaw-dropping success stories. She is currently in a great position with TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES at such a young age!! For me she has now become an inspiration as I also want to have the same qualities of an entrepreneur which she possesess.
Moving on with today, we had a quick bite at Swati Snacks- a restaurant which was suggested by the Consul himself. Later, we went to FabIndia where we had been previously in our program. I shopped a bit for my mum and my friends and hung out with everyone for two hours. Later, we again had dinner at this great restaurant called KHYBER. Vipin and Teressa from Ashoka Youth Venture also joined in with us for dinner. The food and dessert were great. By the end of the day all of us were quite tired and headed back to our appartments.
I can't actually believe that this thrilling programme has come to its closing moments. It was a brillliant chance for all of us to not only learn and experience new things but also groom the potential that sits somewhere deep inside our hearts and minds........ It's definitely going to be tough to say good bye to all these folks because we have become such good friends that we almost feel like family now. I wish all the best to all my friends of PA and hope they have a bright future and I hope they will never forget us. I will surely miss them.
I also want the next groups for the coming year to have more fun and try to learn as much as they can. My best wishes to all of them. Thank you Phillips Academy and Udayachal. I owe a lot to you!!!!!!!
-Aditya Bajaj from Udayachal