The Burns

|Author: Shannon|

For my last blog post I thought about writing about my experience here, how amazing it has been and how it has flown by,  but instead I have decided to talk about something I've learned in hope that future GCIL students can learn from my mistakes.

Coming to India I had been briefly warned that the sunscreen here didn't work and to make sure to bring some with me. So, taking that advice, I brought four bottles.  To give you context I am very VERY prone to getting sunburned. I'm the person in Seattle that goes outside wearing a tank top on the first sunny day in months and gets burned. I'm the person that gets burned through car windows and turns bright red like a tomato if I forget to put sunscreen on when I'm hiking in the snow. This has happened all too many times. So coming to a place that’s sunny 24/7 sounded like a recipe for disaster.

For the first few weeks in Bangalore I had realized that I could get away without wearing sunscreen since I had the pollution layer protecting me from the UV rays. But when we went to the beach for the first time, that was a different story.  As many of you know I got completely roasted to a crisp when we went to Goa. And a few of us figured out what it meant when the past GCIL students said that Indian sunscreen doesn't work. I'd almost argue it was just lotion that didn't even moisturize your skin. I had never been so burnt in my entire life, and let me tell you, I have been burnt. Burnt to the point where it hurts to move and all you want to do is lay on your bed and dumb as much aloe on your burn as possible until your skin stops absorbing it and you’re just stuck with a layer of aloe on your skin that's sticky and just starts peeling off along with your skin.

And, as I'm standing here in front of you, still a little pink from Pondicherry over the weekend, I am the tannest I have ever been in my entire life. I shock myself almost every time I look in the mirror because I'm so used to looking pasty white year round. Was it worth it?  Mm I'm not so sure, but-honestly-definitely not. I had the dermatologist tell me that my skin would be ruined when I was older and because of my pale complexion that I’d have problems from how burned I got here.

So what do I say to that? Wear a shirt. Just wear a shirt. If someone offers you theirs, take it. I'd say it's better than having puss bubbles all over your back. Yeah, not a pretty picture to say the least, but hey, nothing a few bottles of sunscreen can't fix.

From our aloe adventures to sleeping on the roof of UTC, I would never want to spend my time here with any other group. Everyone is so motivated and always down to do pretty much anything. Even though we have one more week left, I would just like to say that I appreciate every single one of you and I’m so glad that you decided to come to India. Here’s to our last week and all of the adventures we have had.

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