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Friday, August 13, 2010

Connecting with the people of India

Recently, an eager group of Girl Scouts joined San Diego council staff and experienced the excitement of Indian life in the global atmosphere of Sangam: Indian food, outdoor markets, sari shopping, famous sites and Indian art with 11 of their Girl Scout sisters.

Enjoy this third post from Karina, one of the Girl Scouts who just returned from the trip of a lifetime! Enjoy -- and let is know what you think!
But my favorite part was our movie star status.

Since we weren’t in the touristy area, we were kind of the tourist attraction for locals. Kids kept waving and staring at us, and they were more than excited when they saw our cameras (they even posed for the cameras!) (Like, seriously, they DID ask for pictures and pose).

And yes, we saw kids begging. For food and money…but that was kind of expected. What was unexpected was that some kids approached us to touch us. They asked for a hand squeeze and then they stared at their hands. I wasn’t that much of an impact since my skin is a bit dark, but Alyssa (a blond, blue-eyed girl from Nebraska who was a part of our destination group) stole the spotlight. She was the hit between the cute little dark haired Indian kids with dark skin, who weren’t used to the opposite of blending-in-visitors. Like us! But we loved them and they loved us, one day a girl walked by and she gave me a flower! People there are kind, friendly and they kept asking if we wanted some Chai tea…and they made us feel like Angelina Jolie.

And like her, we discovered that some people live in misery; in houses that are more like tin and cardboard put together and I’m not generalizing or saying that the majority of houses are like that, but they do exist. What I can say is that overall people are HAPPY. It’s something I sensed since the first day of our journey, when I saw that little girl running around barefoot in the mud near the pile of rotten food. She was laughing. That family in that slum in Mumbai, they were sitting around a little fire inside a tent, their home, because it was rainy outside…and they were laughing.

It was hard. Taking all in, the culture shock and everything. Seeing how the world is. Just stepping outside of my own bubble and trying to get inside that skinny armless beggar’s bubble. Just attempting to even imagine being in his…he wasn’t wearing shoes.

Next, what Karina learned from her expereince.


  1. this is beautiful!! My Daisy Troop and I are doing "India" for Thinking Day and it's their first time ever -- they are going to love this picture of older girl scouts dressing the "Indian" part.
    Thank you for all you do!


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