I’m not just a high school PE teacher. I also serve as the coordinator for the school’s Discover India program. This is the school’s week-without-walls experience where all high school students (there are also middle school trips but I’m not charged with them) go on one of over a dozen week-long experiences throughout India. Last year we had trips that rode on and slept in camel-pulled carts, rafting and kayaking trips on the Ganges river, diving experiences off the Andaman Islands, biking the Himalayan foothills… In short, a great collection of trips that celebrate the diversity of the country.
I went on “The Utimate Atali Experience” which I picked because it had climbing, ropes course, and rafting. Three teachers and 18 students flew to Dehli and then on to Dehradun. Then we took a two hour bus ride to Rishikesh and on to the hotel we’d stay in. It turns out that we stayed in one of Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s 50 Best New Hotels In The World 2013. When we arrived at the hotel they had hot tea made from a local flower. We all had a bit of a hike up to our rooms from the “lobby” but the facility was incredible.
Of course, we were not there just to hang out at a hotel. We worked with Aquaterra to provide us with the adventure components of the trip. We had a couple of days of rafting on the Ganges River. One of the days they let us hop out of the boats and float in the water through some low class rapids. we had to hold on to the rope around the edge of the raft and while I was rolling from my back to my front in the water and slipping my fingers from the rope I felt and watched as my titanium wedding band popped off of my finger, floated in air like a slow motion scene from a movie, and disappeared into the murky, frothy waters of the Ganges River.
Pepper was amused when she found out.
We also spent time on a hike and an afternoon helping repaint a local school.
This Sunday, Jordan and I depart for our trip for this year. We’ll spend three full days rafting the Mahakali River expedition style. The Mahakali is a river that borders India and Nepal. Our travel just to the put-in is a flight to New Delhi, an overnight train, then a six hour bus ride into the mountains.
I can’t wait to get on our way for the trip. Aside from Jordan there are another dozen great students and a coworker that I look forward to getting to know better, discovering India, and finding a little more out about ourselves.