Somehow, one month has past since I last posted to my blog. The saying really is true, time does fly when you're having fun! So much has happened in the last month that if I were to detail every event this post would be 12 pages long (anyone who knows me in real life can attest to how much I am able to write). That being said, I will try to summarize the major events without leaving out important details.
I guess I should start all the way back in August which has been over for more than 2 weeks at this point. August 28 marked 2 months from landing in New Delhi. Three days before that was one of the most memorable days for me. For those of you who don't know, in Delhi, the monsoon season is roughly from August through September. Usually the heavy rains are in the evening, but I got lucky enough to experience a downpour with Monisha during the day. When the rain started, the power quickly went out and my host mom asked me if I wanted to enjoy the rain to which my reply was "yes, of course!". I think enjoying the rain is something people in the US should adapt because it is really so much fun. The heavy monsoon rains made it so that the flat terraces and rooftops flooded at my house. This made it all the more fun because then I initiated a splash war with Monisha. I took one of the squeegees (wow did not think that was an actual word) from the terrace and pushed all the water I could towards her. Needless to say by the end of the storm we were completely sopping wet. Even once we were exhausted from splashing, just standing at the edge of the terrace looking at the flooded streets was nice.
Also in August, I spent more time with the kids in my host mom's daycare because a new 2-year-old kid, Utkarsh joined. Usually, kids are not the biggest fan of me for whatever reason. But for some reason, Utkarsh really took a liking to me. Whenever he would start crying, my host mom or Sita auntie would call me to come get him and as soon as he was in my arms, he stopped crying. It only got annoying when I realized that it was only in my arms he would not be crying. When I put him down, he started crying. Luckily for me, it was soon discovered that he has a passion for watching cartoons, so at least for a short while, I could put my phone in front of him with cartoons playing and he would calm down. I really love Utkarsh despite his perpetual desire for me to take him to his mom. One of my favorite memories with him is standing on the terrace and spotting some boys walking goats (yes you read that correctly) on leashes down the street! He was not the only one completely intrigued by that! Aside from him, I also enjoyed paying with the two little girls at the preschool. Their favorite thing to do was dancing so I also joined in despite my atrocious dance moves.
If it is beginning to sound like I am reminiscing about the daycare, it is because I am. September 1 marked a significant day in my exchange because it was the day I left my first host family. It was not a planned shift which is what makes it harder for me since I was not able to say goodbye to all the younger kids (hopefully I can go back to visit them). I am sure the question you all have now is why did I have to switch host families so suddenly? This will take some background information as follows. So wayyyy back in June when I got my host family placement information my mom and I noticed that the application said I would share a room with my host brother and sister. Since we were told it is against their policy for me to share a room with a male, my mom contacted AFS just to see whether the situation was different in real life than it was on paper. Before I left for India, we were told the problem was solved, so all was fine for me. They did not specify whether solved meant it was ok for me to share a room with Gatik or solved meant I would not share a room with Gatik but starting on my first day with my host family, I shared a room with him. It was not really a problem for me because Gatik is nice and I view him as my brother but I brought up the fact to my local coordinator during the August meeting we had. He did not seem that concerned about it but said that I should not be sharing a room with Gatik because it is, in fact, against their policy. It was arranged that I would sleep in a different room but before that could happen, a couple days after the meeting my host mom came home and told me that my coordinator had called and told me to pack all my bags and be prepared to shift host families. This definitely shocked everyone in my host family. I did end up leaving that night, but since that point I try to view it in a more positive light in that I have gained many new experiences that I would not have gained had I stayed where I was.
Hi! My name is Anna McKane. I am 16 years old and have had a pretty ordinary life up to this point. I believe this experience will change me for the better and I will try everything I can while I am abroad.