My journey to India
After flying for 6 hours than three more hours with only a pit stop in Dubai, we arrived at Mumbai airport. We had been up almost 24 hours with an hour or so of sleep. I knew it was hot in Mumbai in the start of January, but the feeling of stepping outside after being locked inside for hours of air-conditioning the warmth hits you. I remember stepping outside of the airport, just staring at the sun like it was an old friend. To come from minus degrees to something in the late 20 something degrees was indescribable, but then it hit me. This wasn’t over 3 or so hours left. Isolated with only my classmates by my side we stepped into the warm bus that unexpectedly will become our second home the next nine days. One of our teachers had preached and preached about keeping awake to see the incredible city of Mumbai, but after just 20 minutes of driving my eyes slowly closed and I felt into a welcomes slumber.
Our first clash with civilization was when made a pie and snack break halfway through. We had been warned before we left that people were going to stare, and that was normal, but, well I thought they had been execrating, boy! They were not. They stared – not smoothly like we usually do when we watch others – no it was the “stop working and drop everything in your hands” stare. Interesting way to be welcomed into a country, but we survived. The road trip went on until we finally! arrived in Pune with approximately 3,1 million citizens. We were told we were going to live in the wealthy part of town, but through our time in India I realized that they didn’t have poor and rich places at least not literally. You could walk past a family living on the street and look to your left and find a black gate leading into a high-security building. Coming from a little country like Denmark where you don’t have that kind of property; It was shocking, but I quickly learned that being doesn’t mean you’re unhappy.
We had settled into the hotel and had a good night sleep; we were up next morning heading for one of our sisters school in Pune. This I had looked forward to, seeing how the school system worked. After having a very bumpy ride, we arrived at the school. It was still January, so the sun was slow to rise meaning it actually was somewhat cold, but when we mean cold in Pune, we mean a few goosebumps though we still wear shorts for the boys and t-shirts for the girls. The children, on the other hand, wearing jackets and sweaters. They stood in rows military style with their teachers in front though children being children they still played around with each other. They stared but this time, it was different, they stared in awe. When you walked past them, you could hear the girls giggle.
Being on this school reminded me of a quote I found by Barack Obama himself;
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
I’ve always heard that one day shortly India will become the next superpower or, at least, the next huge economy. They are going to push America of their pedestal and take it for themselves, but though I do think they have a long way to go, seeing those kids though made me wonder if a nation needed something or someone to safe it or move it up in the world – it would have to be the next generation of bright minds. Young, brilliant minds that can compete but also work with each other. In my country, my generation is called the “lost generation” Nasty term I know, shouldn’t the next generation be the golden generation if we want a bright future? These kids are just that; the bright generation. Give the power to the children and they’ll give it back one day, give the love to the children at they’ll give it back someday.
But these kids didn’t know this, of course. Instead, they worked hard, and I’m sure they loved coming there anymore because you learn to appreciate something when there are so many others that don’t have it. I think that was the beauty of this experience; that they didn’t know they were may save their country someday. I’m not sure if it was just because they were showing off or because they actually mean it, but the kids at that school smiled and loved being there compared to a lot of children around the world who hate going to school. They also need to fight more and work harder to get what they want compared to my country were education’s free, and it’s so much easier to slack through the system.
In Denmark, you start in school at the age of six years old without any form of real ground education, but at this school kids down to the age of four were in school. They were creatively learning to count by playing with different buttons and putting them into small formation either creating a smiley or just a mere snake. You would think they were robbed of their childhood of playing around, but they weren’t. The picture above shows a group of kids on roller skates talking better English than I do. Just because they learned it from a young age.
I was deeply inspired by this visit to Vidya Valley School and loved seeing how their system worked compared to ours. They seemed to have found a good balance between fun and discipline plus all of the kids worked to be creative and innovative which is a well-known future for India. Young entrepreneurs looking to make it int he world.
The last picture I have is of a group of girls that always laughed and giggled behind and finally they asked for a picture. We took pictures with them and of them. I’ll never forget these girls and their free spirits.