Thursday, January 21, 2016

Wrap-up of ADE Child Education India Trip

Written by: Makhimba Simon

Today is our last day at Agastya. At our final meeting, the entire team sat down with Thiagu, Nitin, Naresh, and Ramji and discussed the future of the Brightbox then we gave the leaders of Agastya feedback on how they can improve the organization. Quite frankly Agastya is an amazing non profit and I think education systems around the world should look to them for guidance. If all children learned like the children at Agastya, I strongly believe that we would be better off as a planet but that’s just my opinion.

After wrapping up and saying goodbye to everyone we met at Agastya we drove through horrible traffic to get to our hotel in Bengaluru. Upon arrival at the hotel, we were all in agreement that it was disgusting and no future trips should ever stay here. Me, a lover of cleanliness disinfected the entire room and was very grateful that we only had to spend one night there. The next day was one of the best days of the semester because Siddhartan, Jamie, Mary and I got the opportunity to tour the city and really get to know each other. Previously there was a lot of tension among team members but for me, this day wiped the slate clean. We had a quick breakfast then went to a traditional Indian arts and crafts store where we all bought the most beautiful, hand crafted tapestries that Northern India is known for. We visited the Bull Temple and its neighboring Ganesh Temple where we saw centuries of beautiful architecture. After this we went to a shopping mall and had my favorite meal of the entire trip, a vegetarian Thali meal where several curries, soups, desserts and rotis were served to us in tiny bowls. Before we could empty our bowls, the waiters refilled them which is basically my life dream. After such a tasty and incredibly filling lunch we were shocked to learn that it only cost about $6.50 per person. We spent the rest of the day shopping, eating and laughing. 
On the way to the airport, I came to the conclusion that next semester’s team should begin with team bonding before the slightest bit of work is done because if I had gotten to know Mary and Jamie sooner, working with them would have been a blast. I came to India with a lot of resentment and annoyance for some of my team members and I left feeling like Mary, Jamie and I were old friends reunited. I think I can speak for the entire team when I say that this has been one of the biggest learning experiences of our lives. For that I am very grateful!