Overall I had an amazing experience! I had a great time when I went the first year and an even better time the second year! The second year went a lot smoother, it felt like we got to do more, and the group bonded a lot more. We all especially loved working at the school and getting to know the students.
Working at the School:
-this was such an amazing experience! My only complaint is that the our activities were very disorganized. Most of time, no one had any idea where they were supposed to be teaching, or if they weren't teaching, what project they working on. Within the activities too, we didn't know what we were supposed to be teaching or how we supposed to conduct the project.
Ideas for at the School: I think we should have made, on the plane or before we got to Fabindia, a "curriculum" of things to teach the students or a list of possible activities (i.e. going over English plurals of nouns, or playing hangman or pictionary). When we left we felt like we hadn't really taught them that much English so I think more organization would really help.
Spend more time with Fabindia students our age: I was really interesting to be able to talk with the high schoolers at Fabindia. Could we maybe do some work in their classes, or help them with the English papers? Could there also be more pressure to interact with them? Maybe a set time when we all have to sit together to have lunch with them, just so we can get to know them? (it's a lot easier to introduce yourself to a little kid than a teenager)
When I went to Morocco last summer, my tripmates and I brought pictures of our family members and places back home to show our host families and the children at the school. Since Fabindia students were very curious about America, it would be nice if LC students come maybe bring some pictures.
Also, since, LC students are curious about India it would be nice if we could spend more time with the students/their families. Visiting Shaily and Shefali's house was so much fun, but it was the only non-hotel or non-restaurant I'd stayed at in India. Could we maybe split the Loomis students into groups and have them eat lunch in the home of a Fabindia family one day?
The Dance: We LOVED learning the dance the girls taught us and performing it! Since they spent so much time teaching us, I think we could teach them some form of American dance. Maybe like the cotton-eye-joe or something simple and fun?
-we spent a lot of time driving --often three times as much time in the bus than actually in a city/destination. I realize that traveling is difficult and that to visit some places you do have to drive there, but maybe Loomis could find a quicker way to transport--maybe flying more? Taking a train would be good too, but only if we could find ride in 1st/sleeper class or find a train service that was comfortable and safe (not the train we took two years ago when someone's bag got stolen)
Temple: we LOVED going to the temple that had thousands of pillars and even though it was out of the way it was definitely a highlight of the trip
We went to the fabindia store a lot but it would nice if we could have gone to more markets and spent more time in the crafts/co op store we went to in Delhi.
I apologize for this being such a long email, but since I went on the trip twice (and really enjoyed it) I have a lot to say!