The group has learned a lot in the past three weeks. Below we have listed some of the more practical things we’ve learned through experience. Consider them tips for our past selves, future Bridge Year participants, or anyone who may find themselves in similar situations.
1. Don’t let a dog smell your backpack for a long time. It may just think it’s a good place to urinate.
2. Don’t wear your new kurta (traditional South Asian shirt) when hauling manure.
3. Don’t wash the aforementioned kurta in the same bucket you use to shower.
4. Make sure you have enough yarn for two socks before you start knitting.
5. Bring a good book.
6. Don’t try to make a do-it-yourself SIM card adaptor at 3am.
7. If your homestay mother notices you’ve stopped eating and asks you a question in Hindi, be careful with your phrases. Naheen accha means “the food isn’t good,” not “I’m full.”
8. Safeguard your toilet paper and use it conservatively.
9. If you have to change hotel rooms because you blew the fuse with your surge protector, don’t try plugging it in again in your new room.
(This photo of the group was taken at Laxmi Ashram, right before we sang a brief medley of American songs for the community.)