‘The Exiled Diaries’: Making Mac-n-Cheese — And Gutting Fish — In India

Ex-Super Sweet 16er and self-proclaimed pink princess, Marissa, stepped out of her time/comfort zone on tonight’s Exiled when she went showerless for five days, cozied up to bugs and made Mac-n-Cheese from scratch. Marissa’s trip to India opened her eyes to how different things can be outside her swanky Scottsdale, AZ, home… and believe it or not, she’s thankful for the opportunity to see beyond her bubble. Just check out Marissa’s diary entries from the adventure:

THE NIGHT OF THE INTERVENTION
I just found out I’m going to India and I’m a little shocked. I know very little about India but I guess I am going to a little village in the jungle. I’m staying with a girl who is close to my age named Pramilla: I’m guessing it’s tiny, and from what my parents say, lots of bugs! Everyone knows I hate bugs. I understand that there may be no beds, showers or toilets. I might have to bathe in a river. Scary for sure. My parents don’t think I can do it, but I want to prove them wrong.

TRAVELING
So here I am in India. I think my parents sent me on this trip to wake me up to what the world is really like. They want to open my eyes to a world unlike anything I have seen before. At home, I am blessed with an easygoing lifestyle and I’m sure they want to show me the true meaning of hard work and discipline. I’m sure life is not as easy here as I have it in the U.S. People probably don’t live as comfortably as I’m used to. I’m guessing many things will be different. My parents think I need to learn the simple skills in life that I haven’t already, like cooking and cleaning. They don’t want me to be completely ill equipped when I finally move out on my own.

I’m honestly very open about this trip. I have always been open to new things and experiences, but obviously this trip has been planned to take me out of my comfort zone. I’m guessing some situations will be very strange and probably unpleasant. Hopefully there will be some amazing things I will see as well, and not all bad things. I’m excited to meet the family I will be staying with. I’m sure so many people think I can’t do this, but I really want to prove them wrong. I only hope they have a shower haha. But seriously… I do like to feel clean, so it will be very interesting if they don’t have showers since I can already tell it is sticky and hot here.

DAY 2
I did a whole lot of work yesterday. I planted ginger and did all this nasty stuff with cow crap, but I think I handled it OK. It was nasty, but luckily I’m not easily grossed. Working yesterday sucked because it was hard, but in six months the plants will grow and Pramillla says she’ll write to me and let me know if they look OK. I really hope it grows well because I worked very hard to do it right. I didn’t want to mess up.

It’s sort of surreal that I am here in India, living in a tribe with a family. They are very nice and I love Pramilla. I hope she can come to Arizona and see how I live. I think she would be blown away.

At first I was nervous and scared to be here, but now I’m really enjoying the family and am so glad they let me stay with them. Everywhere I go in the village, people stare at me. I’ve met children, too, and they all seem fascinated by me. They say “hi” whenever I walk by and then giggle. They are cute and fun and full of energy. The littlest games are exciting to them and they can have a good time with only a stick and some wheels.

DAY 3
Today was a crazy day. First I watched Pramilla’s family catch fish and then I helped cut the fish apart. It was pretty gross. I probably wouldn’t ever do it again. After that, Pramilla and I had a very deep conversation. I feel we are very close now. She is a very sweet girl and I am so happy to have met her and her family — they have been so kind and accepting of me. I hope we stay in touch for a long time. I’ll definitely write to her when I can. We live on opposite sides of the world, but someday I hope she comes to Arizona so I can show her my life.

It sucks being dirty all the time, but it’s all worth it to have met Pramilla and her family. I am glad I got to take part in this adventure. We’ve gone through so much together and it has been a truly moving experience. I feel like my life has changed now that I have met this family…

I just now sat on a bunch of ants — and it sucked. I still feel like they are all over me. It’s a little weird. Bug stuff sucks. I thought the bug situation was under control, but now they’re everywhere!

DAY 5
Today Pramilla and I went to the market to buy some food. Tonight I plan on making her and her whole family dinner… Mac-n-Cheese! I keep going over in my head what I need to do — hopefully they’ll like it. I’m sure it will be very different from anything they’ve eaten before. It probably won’t taste very good though because there is nowhere to keep the milk, cheese and butter cold. And I’m not a great cook.

I also bought chips for them as a side dish. Americans eat a lot of chips and I want them to get the full American experience. I’m also going to see if they will use spoons or folks because they usually eat with their hands. It’s hard for me to eat with my hands — I’m left handed and you have to eat with your right hand so it feels strange. It’s for sanitary reasons though. I guess it makes sense cuz they have no toilet paper. OK, back to the Mac-n-Cheese… I wish I just brought a box with me so it would be easier to cook! Hahaha. I’m probably going to have to make a fire as well, which will probably be hard because I’m not very good at starting fires. I hope the meal I make tonight doesn’t offend them in any way.