We started our day by immersing ourselves within the streets of Delhi. It was an eye opening experience to see piles among piles of trash everywhere we looked. As we got off our bus, we met our guides, two twenty-year-old boys who were able to overcome the misfortune from their childhoods. We were then led through narrow alleyways and cluttered living spaces until we reached an all-boy orphanage called Salaam Baalak Trust. Salaam Balaak Trust gave our guides the opportunity to have a life outside of poverty and the harsh conditions they had everyday on the streets. The experience was both moving and humbling; on one hand we were reminded of all the great opportunities we have been given in life and how lucky we are to have a family and go to school, and on the other hand we were shameful to ever have wanted anything more than a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. Such an astonishing number of the world’s population lives in similar poverty-stricken conditions to what we witnessed on our tour, yet the fortunate “one percent” rarely see those conditions. They are completely oblivious to the struggles of living life on a day-to-day basis and not knowing where each meal is coming from. While participating in games with the children and other activities such a drawing, we were able to connect and see how similar they are to us, despite the conditions in which we were all raised. The boys were excited about life just as we were at their age, and it was so neat to see.  Conversations during and after our tour consisted of many emotions that were not felt previously on our trip. Several students even expressed a desire to call their parents and let them know how much they love and miss them following the accounts told by our guides. All in all we are appreciative of the experience we received and were more than happy to bring joy, if only for a few hours, into the lives of all the boys in Salaam Baalak Trust. After such a moving event, we wanted to make a difference hope to spread the word to our friends and family to try rid the world of such unfortunate living conditions and vast amounts of poverty.

After the unforgettable experience earlier in the day, we took a thirty-minute bus ride to the market. There were so many shops containing scarves, saris, jewelry and pretty much anything you can think of. It was a great time and after a few hours of shopping, the group piled into taxis and went off to the hotel. We are interested to see rural India as we make our way towards Agra to see the Taj Mahal. For many of us the Taj Mahal was the deciding factor for choosing this trip and it will be a rewarding experience to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Erica and Sammi