“He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people”
Coming back home has undoubtedly been a reverse cultural shock and a new beginning in the sense that we have all changed so much from last being home – so how will we fit in back home and be positive influences as a result of the trip? Take it day by day and do our best to embody the qualities we developed from the people in India! Because relating to the whakatauki – the people is what it is all about and made the trip so memorable! The people in India, the people I was travelling with and the people in communities back home – Aotearoa!
There are truly no words to finish this blog or trip that will do it justice. So here are some reflections and thank you messages!
Thank you to:
- Aastha Parivaar for their INCREDIBLE work, welcoming me into their space and supporting me!
- Seema Sayeed from Aastha Parivaar for giving me so much of her time out of her already full schedule!
- GCC India and PMSA NZ for giving us this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
- YWCA International house for being such fantastic hosts and a great place to call home for 6 weeks!
- The PMSA whanau for genuinely being a family away from home (already had our first group met up in NZ, missed each other too much! it’s only been a week ahah)
- The people of India we met along the way who showed us so much love, and hospitality and shared their beautiful culture with us!
- It has been lovely being able to reconnect with family and friends
- Hard to put into words how incredible the experience was; even showing photos doesn’t fully incorporate how excellent India was for everyone
- Culture shock coming back home with a new appreciation of so many things like the fresh air, smaller population, less noise, the toilet facilities, drinking from the taps…
- Still haven’t had time to comprehend the entirety of the whole experience
- Want to promote this scholarship as it has given me a whole new perspective on life, and the people around me and an appreciation for all the opportunities that have gotten me here
- Travelling and putting yourself outside your comfort will make you grow, develop and become a better person. Your understanding of the world and other cultures expands; if you have this opportunity, do your best to make the very most of it! Even if you are unsure, give it a go!
Whatever I do for a job, I will strive to use the reflections from this trip to be a better person. The trip showed me that what you see, hear and feel from your life experience shapes you so much! Hence, protecting people and giving them such rich experiences can change their lives.
One final thank you to you! The reader! For coming along on this journey with me. I hope that whatever experiences you encounter in life, the good and the bad, you come away from it with the lessons it taught you – to know better next time or share it with others – the next generation!
So just before I say Alvida (Goodbye)…I doubt you’d be surprised…I shall leave you with one final quote by a woman I strive to be more like every day – Dame Whina Cooper.