The SAGE (Studies Abroad for Global Education) students take a month-long tour of India during the winter vacation from school. This year nine of them traveled with Gindy Miley on the tour. When they returned some of them wrote of their experiences and observations.
About the travel...
I remember... the railway station of Hyderabad. First the whole group of us was playing cards together. Later on some were spread over the luggage and sleeping . We waited for a long time. Traveling in India demands a lot of patience. Linda Brust
... We got very well acquainted with the Indian rail system, a wonder in itself. Inside of the train life was seldom any more than boring, with the quiet occasionally broken with cries of the 'Cadbury Chocolate' or 'Tomato soup' we finally figured that 'Tomato soup' was indeed tomato soup. The true spirit of rail travel was to stand in the doors, over looking some absolutely stunning landscapes. Andrew Kobayasi-Downs
About the people . . .
I remember one day especially. We stopped for one afternoon in a park in Bangalore. I was sitting on a tree when an Indian lady came, sat next to the tree and asked me to come down. We talked for quite a while even though neither of us knew how to speak or understand the other person's language. She spoke only a little Hindi, which I don't. I found it amazing how long we talked. Linda Brust
About the Taj...
Our first stop on the tour was Agra, with the magnificence of the Taj Mahal. One of our group summed up the experience by saying "Wow that's pretty big" and it was. It took a moment to adjust your eyes to look at it, because it's amazingly bright. Andrew Kobayasi-Downs
. . .The monument that I was most impressed by ... was the Taj Mahal. Agra was the first stop of our journey and an excellent beginning for the winter tour... I think that no matter how many times I were to see the Taj Mahal, it would never fail to leave me with a lasting impression of its beauty. Seth Whitten
At the end of our fantastic voyage we zoomed into Rajasthan. With 60% of the state covered in desert, it was similar to the beach missing the water. We rode camels named after Hindi movie actors and went to a fort on the back of a painted elephant. The highlight of Rajasthan was being able to spend the night in the middle of the desert, close to the Pakistan border. Andrew Kobayasi-Downs
The other place that stands out for me is the sand dunes near Jaisalmere in the state of Rajasthan. It felt kind of like a safari. We took Jeeps into the desert and then rode camels to our campsite to spend the night there. We all slept on the ground in a big tent. The night was complete with singing and dancing around the camp-fire. Being out under the stars with such a bright moon gave it a sort of mystical feeling. A few of us climbed up on a dune and played catch, buried each other in the sand and even played hide and seek. Freja Stock
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