This post is written in English for my Indian family.
Landing on Oslo Airport Gardermoen the 28th of November 2014 was just as surreal as landing on Chennai Airport the 28th of August 2014. Some might think 'but Sandra you stayed in India for only three months, how could you say Norway is surreal when you have lived there your entire life?'. Things happened so fast in India. Late August we were around thirty people who didn't know each other that were going to see each other every day. We got to know each other fast and we got to know each other well. Some times time does not matter on how well you know each other. Some times you meet people who just fits. Suddenly they are there, and you know you will always have them in your life. At one point it felt like I had always been there and that I always would.
It has been nine days since I left India. I am still confused when I wake up and the first thing I see is my beloved bookshelf and the suitcase I still have not emptied. It is filled with my Indian everyday life, and I still can't figure out how to make space for it in my childhood home. While being in India I could build myself up with nothing else in mind but what I met there. I learned a lot about myself living in that apartment in Pondicherry and everything included in that experience. Now India is something I want to carry with me and make space for in my bookshelf and in my way of living. I think I still need to look at the pile of stuff for some time to figure out where to place it (sorry Mom, I will clean my room soon).
I cried a whole day when I left Pondicherry. I guess I did not realize how much these people meant to me before I was about to leave them (for now). Experiencing that much in such a short period of time really gives me hope for what is possible to experience in the future. We have time, I am only nineteen. I have time to sit here on the couch and listen to the bittersweet music by the Weepies and look at all the pictures from these amazing months. And I have time to plan future experiences and know that my Pondicherry family can be a part of some of them too.
For most of us this was an entirely new experience and there was a lot of new impressions that, at least for me, was both shocking and wonderful. You think you know how things are in a foreign country, and then you go there and all you can think is 'I had no idea'. I have lived three months in a place that is Heaven and Hell at the same time. Studying Peace and Conflict while living a place where you can see the world's injustices right outside your door every day was very tough. People are living like this all year, their entire life. I remember lying awake during the rain season when there was a storm outside and thinking about the people who did not have a roof over their head in this weather. Luckily for me, I had amazing people around me who could make me smile, laugh and feel happy. I had someone who stood by me facing both India's faults and incredibly beautiful sides. It is important not to drag yourself down because you know the world is full of injustice. If you do not take care of your self you can not take care of others. I still get that warm feeling in my heart when I think of how we cared for each other then and somehow still do.
You all mean so much to me and I don't think I can say this enough:
The Baby misses and loves you all!*
*I was the youngest one