It was a happy coincidence when we found out that our IBM Corporate Service Corps assignment would be during the same month as the Indian celebration of Holi, March. Now what’s Holi, you ask? SO. MUCH. COLOUR.

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Holi with the Don Bosco children

Holi is an ancient Hindu spring festival originating in the Indian subcontinent. Today it is celebrated in many places around the world and events such as the “colour run” are based off of this concept. …


After a bumpy ride to Chandigarh, we settled in to our first week of work which involved two-days of orientation with our partner agency VSO and our clients.

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Day 1 of IBM CSC!

We are working with Don Bosco Navjeevan Society Chandigarh, a local NGO whose mission is to provide for at-risk youth, children and empower women. Navjeevan is a Hindi word that means “New Life, New Hope.” There is no truer description than that for what Don Bosco provides. I feel so very fortunate that we are working with an organization who does so much for the community and advocates for the rights of children. …


I can’t even begin writing this blog without laughing, because when just about everything goes wrong, all you can do is laugh! That’s the best way to describe our journey from Toronto, Canada to Chandigarh, India this past Wednesday. Myself and Troy are the two Canadians on the team, which was great that we could travel together.

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Troy and I at the airport.

We were booked on a direct, 13.5 hour flight from Toronto to Delhi. Easy, right? Well that was the plan, but then as life has it, the day before we left Pakistan’s military shot down two Indian warplanes and major conflict erupted between the two countries. This was the biggest incident between the two countries in over two decades — and tension was at an all time high. Pakistan’s airspace immediately closed, Air Canada cancelled our flight and announced they were stopping service to India. We quickly called Air Canada and found out that our only option to get to India by March 1 was a flight from Toronto to London Heathrow, followed by an 8-hour layover and then a flight from Heathrow to Delhi. Oh, did I mention there was also a major snow storm in Toronto this same day?! We finally were able to leave Toronto after a 2-hour de-icing delay and landed in London 7-hours later. Although very tired, we had a very long layover in London so we were about to head to our next terminal to get some rest when it occurred to me that I did not have a boarding pass for the second leg of our journey. Troy had a boarding pass but for some reason I never received one when I checked-in to the flight in Toronto. I had a really bad feeling that my luggage would not be on the Delhi flight without a boarding pass, and sure enough, we checked with airport staff and my bag was on the luggage carousel in London! That meant we had to go through UK customs, pick up my bag and then go back through security and then check in for the flight. In total this took over 4-hours, so we were very lucky we had such a long layover! We encountered another issue when we had to go back through UK security — we had too many liquids! In North America, as long as your liquids/gels are under 100ml you can bring as many as you want in your carry-on. However in the UK, we quickly found out that you could only have one small plastic bag worth of liquids! I had 5 bags worth…. The security officers told us we would have to check another bag or throw out all of our beloved MAPLE SYRUP we brought as gifts. …

Bridget King

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