Wet feet, wet shoes, wet backpacks, wet dogs and the crinkled damp pages of new textbooks. The campus has welcomed me in all it’s rainy beauty. The persistent monsoon rainfall has turned the valley into a surreal shade of green, flooded the rice fields, filled the rain reservoirs on campus, turned getting to class a slippery obstacle course and set the mosquitos into military force. Despite frustration associated with the inability to dry laundry, it’s clear that rainfall is the source of life in the valley.
Halfway around the world away from a previously comfortable city life surrounded by family and friends everything here is new and at times overwhelming. I am living with four new roommates with very different backgrounds and stories to share yet we are brought together by a common love for Nutella. Outside, I am surrounded by unfamiliar species of plants and animals from Banyan trees to jungle fowl to the hilariously intimidating land crabs. Whether walking to a temple in a sacred forest on the campus’ biodiversity reserve or hiking into the clouds of neighbouring Mt. Wilco, everyday I am learning more about my new environment in hope of finding my place within it.
I was warned that Mahindra would be a crazy place but I never imagined how it would be so. So far I’ve whipped up 50 ripe bananas into a smoothie, searched for a peacock while hiking with my roommates, watched a cow break down the fence bordering my house and had a close encounter with a poisonous snake in an 800 year old fort. While these events seem out of the ordinary to me, it’s becoming clear that the unusual becomes the usual in a place like MUWCI. As I enter my second week of classes I have my mind and heart open to continue discovering.
With lots of love,