The first full day in Heranjalu was a blast. Waking up in our new homes was kind of a disorienting feeling, until we were met with kind faces and warm plates of delicious food; we then knew we’d be in good hands. Once all the groups made their way over to Krishna’s house, we were met with probably the most difficult obstacle on the trip so far– between saying no to child beggars in Mumbai and showering with a bucket, this surpasses both… Believe it or not, this challenge we faced was none other than the Yakshagana dance, which, unless you fancy yourself a professional, is no walk in the park. However, through persistence and dedication we are looking a lot better than we did the first day, and there’s no doubt we’re going to be in good shape for when we perform.
After dance class, we took a short walk to the local school, where we saw some of our homestay relatives, and made even more friends. We played many games, and by the end we were on a first name basis with everybody, high fiving and fist bumping like crazy. Towards the end of the day, we settled down back at Krishna’s house and reflected on the question of the day: Why are we here? After sharing many stories and anecdotes, feeling and beliefs, we came to the mutual agreement that we wanted to defy the “white savior” stereotype and instead approach this trip with hopes to be a part of the culture, learning and embracing new ideas at every turn.
Ethan & Tess