I am a terrible blogger… I wrote a very nice, very long blog one week ago and when I hit the load button the entire thing disappeared into a vast cyber space black hole. I now know to type my blog in a word document first THEN post it to the web. Oh well, writers sometimes say their second drafts are better than their first…
So I haven’t written in a while! I’ll do a quick summary of the past three weeks to get you guys up to speed. Sarah and I arrived here at CIRHEP the 25th of January. We are living in a very simple but very nice place surrounded by flowers, trees, birds, ducks, one cat and lots of peacocks (but you have to be lucky to see one up close). The staff here couldn’t be nicer and the food couldn’t be better. There are two other interns from Sweden who have been staying here since November. They are also super friendly and very helpful. They work for an organization called Future Earth.
The first week was spent getting used to our surroundings. There were visitors here from Sweden and Latin America so we went around with them to field visits. Then we had more visitors from Sweden and we traveled with them trekking up in the mountains to see tribal villages. It was all very fun but I was pretty anxious to start work!
It has been a little difficult to get any sort of plan mapped out for what we will do with our time while we’re here. We’ve had several meetings and made several schedules but they haven’t exactly been followed. Sarah and I have both been feeling a little discouraged and its taken time to get use to how Indians view time. And as much as we would both love to just go out and talk to people, ask questions, and figure out stuff on our own...we don’t speak their language. It has been a good experience though, having to ask for help and having to work with other people who don’t work (or speak) the same way as me. If nothing else, this will teach me great patience!
BUT the other day there was a breakthrough!!!!!! We have been trying to start up a recycling “center” here at CIRHEP and have been having meetings about how everything will work (who will come pick it up, where the bins will go, what will be recycled, etc) but nothing has been put into action… until Thursday! We actually started work on building a vermicompost by the kitchen! So the day was spent hauling bricks, sand and stone from one end of CIRHEP to the other. We are suppose to begin the actual construction later today.
Yesterday Sarah and I traveled with Ylva, Eric, and Nils into Madurai for the day. We had a wonderful cultural experience at… THE CINEMA!! Haha we went to see a movie!! It was so much fun! The movie was all in Tamil so we had no idea what anyone was saying AND it was THREE hours long (there was an intermission!!) But the plot line was pretty easy to follow: the main character was a guy whose parents wanted him to get a job, but every time he went to an interview he ended up finding an attractive gal to flirt with instead. So he ended up dating three girls at one time and they all fell in love with him. THEN they all found out about the other girls and there was lots of drama. But one girl forgave him instantly and he decided that he loved her too. BUT THEN one of the other girls fathers found him and beat him with a steal rod (I’m not exaggerating) which sent him into a coma. AND THEN when he woke up he had lost all of his memory and was the same player of a guy he had been in the beginning… Haha it was definitely interesting. There were so many twist and turns with the plot. But the best part by far were the six or so dance scenes that broke out throughout the movie!! I have to get the sound track!
Last weekend we went up to Kodaikanall in the mountains where it is much greener and much cooler than where we’re staying in Nilikottai. It was so nice! We stayed in a dorm room at a hotel with the most spectacular view. We paid 150 rupees per night... 50 rupees= 1 dollar. I’m reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert and there’s a quote in there that does a good job of summing up how we have been and plan to be traveling. It says, “ traveling - particularly the cheap and dirty traveling - is pretty much one glitch and hassle after another, followed by the occasional stunning sunset.” Which is so true! I never know what might be crawling around in the sheets with me, but the incredible sights usually take my mind off worrying about bed bugs and rats…Oh I forgot to mention, Sarah and I booked out first train ticket for the beginning of April. We’re going to Darjeeling!!!! We had originally planned on staying in the south but from what we can gather and from what everyone has been telling us, the South is almost unbearably hot during the months of April and May. Soooo we plan to go North. We’re still in the process of planning where all we will go but so far Darjeeling is our first stop.
Well, I need to go. I think the vermicompost construction is about to begin! I will try to write more regularly! Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying all that snow!! Be safe! Build a snowman for me!