As the plane touched down in New Delhi, India the excitement and nerves really started to kick in. After months of hard work and preparation, this was the final stage of the programme and I knew it was going to be a very special one. Alex, Kayley, Luke and I arrived in New Delhi in the early hours of Saturday morning. After nearly three hours in immigration, we finally made our way out of the airport to a very warm and dusky New Delhi. While we made our way to the hotel in the taxi, it became evident quite quickly that traffic lights are just a decoration on the streets of Delhi. Kayley and I let off a few roars when cars and scooters were honking at us every second. We swiftly came to the realization that it was just the beautiful sound of India by day (and by night). We knew the jet lag was kicking in when we found ourselves laughing uncontrollably at the smallest of things – so off to bed we went for an early start to the Taj Mahal on Sunday.
At 06:30am, up we got and made our way downstairs to have breakfast before we headed off on our three hour drive to the Taj. Carys and Can had arrived during the night, and the rest of the volunteers were to be arriving throughout the day. The excitement of finally having everyone together was amazing. Carys, Kayley, Can and I jumped in the car and had the most amazing day at the Taj Mahal. The feeling of standing in front of one of the Seven Wonders of the World was something I never thought I would get to experience. It was definitely a “pinch me” moment.
When we eventually got back to the hotel, all the crew had finally arrived and we sat to have a family meal together. Many questions were asked and nerves were definitely starting to kick in for all of us. One thing I noticed, when watching the volunteers plan and prepare for the seminars, was even though they would stand in front of 25 or more people most days, even the most experienced of teachers get nervous – “butterflies in my tummy” was a phrase commonly used by the volunteers this evening. The excitement and passion these volunteers have is so inspiring!
Contribution from Mary Flynn. Want to read more about our trips – see our previous blogs here!