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Photo by Caleb Brooks


I think it’s safe to say that spending the New Year away from our friends and families back home was a challenge for all of us in BYI. Celebrating the New Year is not a huge thing in Udaipur; in fact, many of our NGOs remained open on New Year’s Day. We celebrated by coming together at the program house for a night of cooking, movies, and good company.

I cooked Julia Child’s gratin dauphinois (scalloped potatoes au gratin) and made a Greek salad. Anna prepared scrumptious carrots sautéed in honey, in addition to ratatouille. Sijbren made pasta with a fresh tomato sauce while Fernando had some fun in the kitchen with his “pasta surprise” (the surprise: anchovies). Dani prepared a fruit salad, and Sydney finished off our meal with brownie sundaes.

We shared our New Year’s traditions, listened and danced to music while cooking (RIP Juice WRLD), and enjoyed our meal with Lauren and Neerav. In honor of Anna’s dish, we screened Pixar’s Ratatouille (this film was also a feature of many of our group members’ childhoods). We rang in the new year on the program house roof, watching our neighbors’ fireworks (RIP air quality), and capped off the evening by sleeping over in the program house living room.