Imagine a country that has roughly three times the population of the United States in about half the total area of land. Now open your eyes…that country is India. I can honestly say that India is unlike any other place that I have traveled. The amount of people, cars, and trash is overwhelming. Your eyes are filled with the honk of horns, people talking, and vendors trying to make a deal. Your nose is filled with a distinct smell of garbage, body odor, and spices. Your eyes are filled with images of food stands, homeless people, and street vendors. Your senses are constantly overwhelmed.
Some of the coolest experiences we have been able to have are our field visits. While we mostly stay in the larger, developed cities, our field visits involve traveling out to some of the remote areas and villages of India. Our first visit was to a tribal village. I was fascinated at the lifestyle of these people. Although the Indian government has a multitude of incentives in place to lure these people away from their lifestyle, they remain content with the way the live there lives.
The most interesting aspect was the fact that no question was off the table for us to ask. How much do you make per month? What are your thoughts on the current government? Was your marriage arranged? Is the caste system still relevant? Every question we asked, we received an answer without a bating of an eye. We were complete strangers, but they held nothing back. This enabled us to gain a holistic view of the Indian culture. Knowing the roots of the Indian people allowed us to move forward with our trip so that we could offer realistic solutions to a few of the many issues causing pain in India.