SDARL Class IX started our first full day immersed in the sights, smells, and sounds of India. We spent the day touring the city of Mumbai, formerly Bombay, and becoming engrossed in the culture.
Our day started with a visit to the local fish market at 5:30 a.m. There are about 150,000 people involved in the fish market everyday, exchanging millions of dollars. Fish are bought and sold in an organized chaos; 50% for local markets and 50% for export.
|The fishing wharf at sunrise.|
We continued our tour of the city going through the local laundry. The laundry is a business run by locals, where clothes are still scrubbed and hung to dry by hand. Local hotels and businessman rely on this service.
The group returned to the hotel for a quick breakfast. Then we started a bus tour of local historic sites including: the Gateway to India; the Taj Mahal Hotel; city offices and train station, which were heavily influenced by the British. The class also stopped at Ghandi’s house and museum, in a very small and humbling building.
|Lacey Caffee and Jen Henrie pose for a picture.|
|Class nine members Dani Hanson, Derrick Little, Jen Henrie,|
John Kleinjan, Shelby Bartling, Sarah Hill and Lori Cope at the
Next we went to the hanging gardens in a very religious area of the city. The gardens lay over the top of a water reservoir built to supply the city. After the water became contaminated by birds, they built the gardens to cover the reservoir and protect the water.
Before we broke for lunch the class removed our shoes and visited a Hindu temple to the elephant god, Veshnu, showcasing how much religion is apart of the Indian culture.
After supper, we ventured out to visit Iskcon Temple, a Hari Krishna temple. Hari Krishna are a subset of Hindu religion. We visited with two monks to learn more about the religion, and also got to take part in a prayer service. It was very lively with lots of clapping, singing, and music.
|The ceremony at the temple.|
The first day was a fantastic introduction to Indian culture and daily life. It was interesting to see the dichotomy between the traditional trades in India and the modern parts of the economy. We can’t wait to see what day 2 will bring!
Written by Rebecca Christman and Lee Sanderson