We had a blast celebrating Holi at a street party around the corner from our hotel.
We explored the Red Fort, Old Delhi on a cylce rickshaw, tried the most succulent jalebi, went into the spice market, Qutab Minar, practiced Tai Chi in Lodi Gardens... It was such a full exploration of Delhi.
We drove to Agra to stand in the majesty of the Taj Mahal. We lounged in our BnBs, The Coral House and The Coral Tree, where we enjoyed high tea and got mehndi.
On day one some people particpated in the International Yoga Festival, while others went river rafting.
Most of us explored ayurvedic medicine modalities such as shirodara and nasal cleansing. Many of us had run-ins with monkeys.
And then we began clinic. We treated a few hundred people over 5 days at The Swami Shukdevanand Charitable Hospital. The hospital sponsors free medical care on site and in local Himalayan villages. For many locals, quality medical care, proper medical facilities, and healthcare practitioners are not available. The practitioners gained valuable skills in diagnosis while navigating language barriers, and developed agility at working in a fast-paced setting.
Most importantly, the group experienced seva (selfless service), one of the true alchemical transformations of Jing into Shen.
If there is one person I’d follow blindly into a foreign country it is without a doubt Sami!! She knows how to think on her feet, solve problems and bring everyone at ease when things get chaotic or go unplanned (inevitable in India). The whole trip I felt very safe and was able to completely surrender to the present moment because Sami had everything handled! She is an excellent planner, there is absolutely nothing i would change about the trip!! I was worried about germs/diseases the most. The biggest thing i was excited about was the internal journey of doing something out of the comfort zone and that was fulfilled ten fold! The internal and external journey of India was once in a lifetime and very transformative. There are no words to accurately describe the amount of gratitude I feel towards Sami and my time spent abroad with her and the group.
I feel like I could write an entire book about the experiences I had during my 2-week trip to India, but I will do my best to be brief. First, I would like to give Sami credit for setting up such a great trip – how well-planned and organized everything was (we packed a lot of things into our time) and what great communication Sami had with everyone before, during, and after our trip. Secondly, I want to acknowledge what an incredible group of people I went with to India; how service-minded everyone was, and what love, care, and concern for others was shown in abundance by everyone at every turn along the way. I love these people on a whole other level now that we have traveled across the world and through so many different adventures together.
In India, everyone says “Namaste” to one another as they put their hands together with a small bow, or simply touch their hand to their heart. Namaste translates to “the Divine within me bows to the same Divine within you’. In India, this isn’t just a popular saying or something said during yoga, it’s a way of life and I think beautifully illustrates the spirit of India. I hope to honor my experience in India by carrying this spirit with me going forward in life and doing my best to recognize the Divine in each one of us.
I am so grateful that I was able to go to India to see and experience some of the world’s different cultures, places, and ancient histories. I’ve been asked a lot since returning how was India, and the truth is India was a lot of things; it was shocking and beautiful, diverse and amazing, difficult and humbling, marvelous and transformative. I’ll be processing my experiences for a while ahead and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have gone.
This trip was absolutely amazing! It exceeded all of my expectations. In just two weeks, we did a lot of things, and I enjoyed every minute of it. We got to explore India's rich dynastic, religious, and cultural history, and we even got to experience modern India up close and personal, riding in a tuk-tuk through the busy streets of Delhi with all the honking and chaotic traffic.
One of the trip's highlights for me, as an acupuncture student, was the valuable and memorable 5-day clinic experience. The clinic was fast-paced. It was very rewarding to see how appreciative the patients were of our service. Many of them came back for follow-up treatments every day, which gave us immediate feedback on how effective our treatments were.
Our trip planner, Sami, did an excellent job organizing everything and handling any unexpected challenges that came our way. Unfortunately, some of us got sick during the trip, but Sami and the rest of the group were incredibly supportive and caring. They made sure everyone was taken care of and comfortable, which was really reassuring.
Alan-- Phoenix, Az
I am so grateful to have been able to take this journey to India. Truthfully, I wouldn't want to take this trip with anyone else besides Sami. She walked us through each step of the preparation and patiently answered each and every one of my questions. She carefully planned all of the transportation, the hotels and most of the meals. The trip was a good balance of personal downtime and exploration and experiencing India. Of course, not everything went as planned, but Sami managed it all with grace. The week of seva (selfless service) was a deeply enriching experience where I had the opportunity to provide care to many, learn about myself, grow in my skills as a practitioner, and in the process open my heart.
With immense gratitude,
Laura, ND, LAc - Oregon
One of the most rewarding experiences of my life was when I had the opportunity to help my mother set up a free medical clinic in Rishikesh, India. My job was to help set up the front desk, greet patients, and direct them to the appropriate areas for treatment.
During the clinic we treated over 250 patients from nearby areas who would otherwise not have access to medical care. It was incredibly humbling to see the gratitude on the faces of the patients who received treatment. Many of them had been suffering from illnesses and pains and they were grateful to finally receive a diagnosis and treatment.
The experience taught me the value of hard work, determination, and compassion. It was amazing to see the impact that my mother and her team of students were able to make in the lives of the people they treated. We all worked tirelessly, but in the end, it was worth it to see the smiles on the faces of the patients and their families.
Overall, this experience reinforced my belief that hard work and dedication can lead to great things, and that helping others is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside my mother and her team, and I look forward to finding more ways to make a positive impact in the world.
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