Down the Coast: Road Trip to Goa

*Due to technical issues could not post on the correct date – supposed to be posted May 19th  

My first few days of my internship have ended and I reflect on how I arrived here in this tropical wonderland of villages. I had landed in India May 8th and stayed with my cousins in Mumbai before we all decided to make a family road trip down the western coast to Goa. It was an estimated 10 hour car trip through winding mountain roads and jam packed express highways. The almost 600km journey could not be attempted in one go so we stopped for the night at Kholhapur – a town midway that boasted beautiful temples and amazing local chicken dishes. The city is home to a beautiful black stone carved temple that resides on the eastern side of the city. Here thousands of people come from all over India to visit the beautiful Shri Mahalaxmi temple– the only relic still around in that part of the state that hadn’t been destroyed by the past.

The next morning we packed up our bags and headed out to Goa. The second leg of the journey was beautiful and scenic. We drove through mountain roads and back tracks, my uncle and aunt wanting to make sure I could get the full scope of India from the rural villages to the sprawling forests and mountain ranges that line the western coast. It has been by far one of the best road trips I have every taken.

I’d encourage anyone who is traveling in India to try to take at least one road trip – it doesn’t matter where (of course some places provide more scenic routes than others) but the important thing I learned from this trip is that I got to see another side of India I could have missed had I flown directly to Goa. I got to immerse myself in the natural beauty that encompasses this complex and eclectic state. I also got a brief introductory glimpse at the communities that form the true heart of Goa – the ones I hope to serve and get to know better during my internship.

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Neha Tiwari

Neha is a Junior with a major in International Studies: Global Environment and Health, and a minor in Biochemistry. She hopes to pursue a career in public health and medicine with a focus on health equity and mental health. Neha will be spending three months in Goa working with Sangath, an NGO dedicated to improving health by empowering existing community resources to provide appropriate physical, psychological, and social therapies. Neha's final research project will explore the effectiveness of the integration of community-based lay counseling in a traditional mental health treatment program.

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