Hello everyone, my name is Elisa and I’m from Italy. Now I live in Indore, the largest city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, in the center of India. I always dreamed about India and when I knew about PEACE Program I immediately understood that it would be a unique opportunity for me. So I want to tell you something about my arrival, what I saw and what I felt.

Lost. That is what I felt when I first arrived in India, lost in sounds, colors, people. Feeling lost is not a bad thing, you don’t know what you will find, who you will find, if you will find new friends, new people or a new version of yourself. Probably all this things together and this is the best thing that can happen during an exchange.

It’s been a little over a month since I landed with my flight from New Delhi to Indore and I remember perfectly all the emotions I felt. First of all happiness, because my luggage was there and after I felt excitement because I was here in India, the country I was dreaming about since a long time. When I went out of the airport I started look around me looking for those people who would be my family. While the only thing I could see was a crowd of strangers waiting for someone who wasn’t me. Only thanks to Viola, the other exchange student, who literally dragged me through the people, I’ve been able to find them. As soon as they saw me they immediately welcomed me with smiles full of joy, a composition of flowers and a garland that I immediately put on. That evening I met also the teachers who would have been with me for the next three months. After some photos my host family and I got into the car heading home. They immediately started talking about Rio, their dog, and I immediately understood that I would have trouble understanding their accent. Anyway in that moment I was the happiest person in the world.

As the car traveled the streets of the city I looked out of the window enchanted by the lights that lit up the night.

It was my first ride across the streets of Indore and I was enchanted by all that things but I have to say that I still feel like that moment when I look outside of the window. When we finally arrived home my host mum and my host sister traditionally welcomed me by ritual. They put “tilak” (a little dot) which is considered good luck on my forehead and lit a lamp.

After dinner I went to sleep, I was really tired but at the same time I was really nervous and excited. Three months were waiting for me in a country completely different from mine and I couldn’t wait to get started.