Meri Dil, Mera Ghar by Sophie Pauken

Home is where the heart is. That’s what I always tell myself when j go somewhere new. Having moved five times in seventeen years I’ve experienced this single handedly. Adjusting to a new lifestyle  is always hard. However, the memories you make always make the hardships worth it. This summer I’ve been able to spend six weeks in India. Although some parts have been challenging, India has become my new home and my heart is with my new family.

Indian culture is all about family. My host family is so lovable. They’re always there for me to talk to. They always greet me with smiles and love. My host sister has not only become a great friend, but a a true sister indeed. I’m going to miss getting Pani Puri (popular Indian street food) and riding a rickshaw with her. My host dad is one of the most intelligent people I know. I will miss staying up late talking to him about world issues and learning about the fascinating Indian culture. My host mom is such an inspiration to me. She is such a hardworking women and gives me great advice about life. Everyday I sit down with my family and enjoy a beautiful dinner filled with laughter and memories. Even days where we all just sit and drink chai together are so nice. It feels so normal to be with them, and I will truly miss their company.

I was so lucky to be paired with such an amazing family. It was tricky getting used to bucket baths, eating with your hands, and very spicy food. Yet visits to temples and palaces made it one hundred percent worth it. Every day is a new adventure in India. I have my ups and downs, but the positives are so great that the negatives are worth it. I’ll miss my family but when I say “goodbye” I know it will really just be a “see you later”. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is with India.

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