|Author: Rachel|

I've always loved going to beaches - even the rocky ones covered in gravel, with frigid water that numbs your feet within minutes of splashing around. That's all I've really been to along the Puget sound, where I've lived most of my life. But the stark differences in the two beaches I went to in Pondicherry - less than an hour apart - put me in awe in the capabilities of this land that is India.

One beach, a 5 minute walk away from our hotels, was covered in the reddest sand I have ever seen. This red was met by large black rocks which tumbled into a steep slope to the ocean. A single glance at this menacing rocks showed trash stuck in all of the corners. But farther down the beach, 5 little and high energy puppies bound along these same rocks, chasing their mom to get their evening meal.

The other beach was endless hot pale yellow sand, with the warm ocean water tumbling strongly up it's shore, revealing treasures like shells and clams for a split second before the shells were pulled back out into the Indian ocean, and the clams dug back into the safety of the wet sand. Crabs scuttled in and out of the holes they dug for their homes, and a dead puffed up puffer fish sat just put of reach from the waves, allowing curious passerbys to examine this tropical fish up close.

These two different landscapes allowed me to really appreciate the difference of environment that surrounds me in this foreign country, where so far my experiences were composed of uncomfortable situations and stress of deadlines. In the next two weeks I am looking forward to identifying beauty where I didn't notice it before, so I can take back these memories of awe and be happy.

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