I woke up happy, rested, and ready to take on my last full day in New Delhi. To start off our jam-packed day, we first ate breakfast, then got into our bus and left to go visit the largest mosque in India, called the “Jama Masjid”.
In order to be in alignment with the cultural and religious norms, all of the girls in our group (which was everybody except one person) brought along a scarf to cover our hair. We were also given large cloth dresses to wear while inside the mosque to cover ourselves even more. While inside, I was able to climb a large tower in order to look out on all of the mosque and also the city of New Delhi. I was also asked by multiple groups of women to take pictures with them and their children, to which I always said yes- but then asked to take a picture of them as well in return.
Once we finished at the mosque, we all went to the meeting point directly outside before being released to do whatever we wanted in the streets of New Delhi for a few hours. It was amazing to be able to explore the busy streets for real, instead of being led through certain areas or in a tour. I went to lots of different shops and bartered with shopkeepers for lower prices all day, while buying random items like clothes or magic lamp looking type things.
After a few hours of exploration, we all met back at the bus and then went to lunch together. The restaurant we went to was a fancy place with a craft shop connected to it, so I shopped while I waited for my roasted goat lunch to be made. I also managed to eat the spiciest sauce I’ve ever consumed in my whole life as an appetizer while at this restaurant, which burnt my mouth so bad that I needed to drink everyone’s lassis until it went away.
After this lunch we left and went to the most beautiful Hindu temple. It was red and yellow and absolutely gorgeous, with sculptures and engravings of different gods all throughout. After touring this temple, we left and went to a tiny Buddhist temple. These two temples were extremely different, but both very interesting nonetheless.
Once we were finished exploring these temples, we went back to the hotel to get cleaned up and relax before dinner. We all dressed super fancy, many of us wearing dresses or saris we bought while in India, and we went to a super fancy restaurant downtown in New Delhi. We all talked and reflected on the trip and how close of friends we had become. Then, after finishing dinner, we went back to the hotel and our trip leaders called us all to have a meeting. During this meeting, we all sat around in a circle and then went around, and everyone would have to say one thing they appreciate about each person or one memory they’ve made with them on the trip. It was such a touching meeting, and it really drove home how much fun the trip was and how close we all got with one another.
After the meeting, we were all supposed to go to sleep to get ready for the final day of our trip when we would be traveling home. Instead, I stayed up for a few more hours with my friend Gwen and just talked about everything from the trip to our real lives at home. It was a really nice way to end our last night on the trip, and I went to bed finally around 4 AM.