January, of course, always starts off with a New Year’s Party. This year, I had the guys at my place. There were six of us, and we had planned to start out the night by seeing the new Sherlock Holmes movie in theatres, then grab some dinner, and end up at my house to bring in the New Year and spend the night. When we got to the theatre however, the show we were planning on attending was sold out. We decided to buy tickets for the next show, and while waiting, go and eat something to eat. We all went to McDonald’s for our last meal of 2011, (it sounds really depressing when I say it like that, but it was actually really good). After we finished eating, we went back to the theatre to enjoy the movie. It was really good! But what made it even better was the German sitting next to me who got really excited whenever they spoke German, and how I was laughing at jokes that no one else got. After the movie we went to my house to spend the rest of the night. We were watching TV, and eating, but when midnight rolled around, we took action. We all stood on the balcony and made a toast with our sodas. As usual, the New Year didn’t make us feel very different, so we went back to watching TV until everyone was tired enough to go to sleep.
January also marked our “Aurangabad Picnic and RYLA at Solapur.” We stayed for two nights in Aurangabad in Rotarian families, and during the days we visited Ajanta and Ellora Caves, as well as Daulatabad Fort and Bibi Ka Maqbara aka “The Poor Man’s Taj Mahal,” spending lots of time with the exchange students living in Aurangabad. After Aurangabad, we traveled to Solapur for RYLA, or “Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.” It was a three day event, but sadly due to some booking issues with our train tickets, we could only participate for two. However, they were two great days of meeting lots of new people and making lots of new friends. I was even lucky enough to receive the award for the “Best Male RYLIAN,” and my team, the Purple Panthers, was, the “Best RYLIAN Team.” *You can read more about Aurangabad and RYLA in the blog post, “Aurangabad and RYLA at Solapur.”
The rest of January was pretty uneventful. All the exchange students did everyday was chill together, or go to dance practice for the upcoming Rotary District Conference, that we would be performing in. Almost every day we would be at Rashmi’s (a Rotarian) house to practice our dances. The guys dance was to the song, “Mee Hai Koli,” meaning “I Am a Fisherman.” The girls dance was to “Apsara Ali.” *More information about the dances and District Conference will be in the February Monthly Report.