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No flight home, Spanish woman enjoys village life in Karnataka’s Udupi | Mangaluru News


MANGALURU: A Spanish tourist, who arrived in India in March and couldn’t leave because of the coronavirus pandemic, has been enjoying the village life in Udupi district, learning the local language, culture and ways.
Tresa Soriano, 34, an industrial designer from the Spanish city of Valencia, can now speak a few sentences in Kannada. She’s been staying at a friend’s house in Heranjal village, Kundapur.
“I was lucky to be in a rural area during the lockdown. Compared to cities, people are safer in the villages. We have more freedom to enjoy and involve ourselves in the natural environment,” said Tresa, who is visiting India for the first time. “I like to learn and live new experiences. In Heranjal, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in various activities: peanut cultivation, milking cows, transplanting paddy, fishing in the river, collecting leaves from the forest, creating rangoli patterns and preparing brooms from coconut fronds.”
Tresa had planned the India trip for almost a year after hearing great things from her brother, Carlos, and his colleague and friend, Krishna Poojari, who hails from Heranjal. She landed in March with plans to tour India and Sri Lanka with her boyfriend before flying back in May. Things went by the board as the pandemic erupted. Her boyfriend, who flew in separately, could not leave Mumbai airport because of the nation-wide lockdown and returned to Spain. Tresa was stranded in Karnataka. Krishna and his family then offered to host her in Heranjal.
A faltering trip turned into a memorable experience as she explored life in coastal Karnataka. She learned about farming and the Tulu culture with the help of Krishna’s mother, Chikkamma. “Learning Kannada is difficult, but it’s a beautiful language. I try to converse in it a little bit with the local people,” Tresa said. “My first experience in India has been amazing. People are friendly. I now have an Indian family, which welcomed me like a daughter. I’m very grateful to them.”
She plans to visit Goa before returning to Spain once international flight operations resume.
“I’m happy we could help her in this tough situation. We admire the way she has utilised the time here to understand the local cultures and customs,” Krishna said.



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