This was my first time traveling to India– my, was it eye-opening. I had many great experiences during my short week in India. I learned a lot about India, including its unique culture, its friendly people, and its passion for protecting women and children. I also learned about the strengths and weaknesses of its judiciary. From all the experiences, the biggest takeaway and blessing from the trip was my ability to make meaningful and strong connections with the staff at Counsel to Secure Justice.
Pepperdine Alumnus, Jon Derby, founded Counsel to Secure Justice [“CSJ”]—an organization that works with children who have been victims of sexual assault to seek justice via legal action and emotional support. During our one-week stay, we were fortunate enough to have “tour guides” who also became good friends. Our tour guides consisted of social workers and lawyers who worked at the organization.
All of the staff members shared their experiences and unique perspective with us, giving us a taste of life in India from people who were born and raised there. Arti, an Indian lawyer, became a really close friend. She was brilliant, and had such passion for her work. She also explained a lot about the Indian culture. She helped me learn a little of bit of Hindi, that I, of course, butchered. She told me how much to pay for a Korta, that I had paid too much for (but was still told I was a good bargainer by the seller!).
We were out to dinner and she ordered Chai Tea. We drank Chai the entire time we were in India. I told her I was not a big fan of Chai, and that it was too sweet for me. She was so funny and told me that in India, Chai cures all. If someone breaks up with you, drink Chai. If you get a new job, you celebrate with Chai.
Even though all of these little encounters were not incredibly profound, we created a bond and friendship that I will always cherish. It is not where you go (although India was beautiful), but it is the people and relationships that you make that count!
–By 2L Jesslyn Nunez