July 13, 2010
Please Allow Me to Explain the Last Two Weeks of June
Hello people. Apologies for falling off the map for a while. I will now attempt to explain the happenings of the last 2 weeks of June in India. This post is coming to you in what we might call Indian time...maybe you're familiar.
This first post will be an overview of the relative chaos that kept me away from technology for so long. I will try to do a series of about 3 posts in the next week, all coming from detailed journal entries I was able to maintain throughout the trip.
Let's start at June 20th 2010 about 7:00 PM. I am upstairs in Hope's guest room frantically packing my backpack for an impromptu 36 hour train ride to Bangalore in the South of India. Why you may ask? Raj (an employee at Hope) is originally from Bangalore and kindly invited me and three other employees, including my project director zeba Baji, to join her and her family in their home in Bangalore. Another piece of information that may be useful to know is that Hope Project was pretty much on vacation from about 17 june to 3 July which also happens to be the time I spent traveling with the staff. I was especially excited to be spending so much time with Zeba, the head of the micro-finance institute (MFI) at Hope, and the one who has been kind of mentoring me along the way.
I haphazardly toss some things into my bag and jump on a cycle rickshaw to Nizamuddin Railway station. I have gotten better about taking cycle rickshaws. In the beginning I avoided them because I felt bad that the driver has to do this terribly grueling and downright dangerous traffic dodging just to get me from point A to point B. I soon realized though that these guys are going to be out there doing it anyway so why not give them business. They deserve it more than auto rickshaw drivers if you ask me. I have rarely been cheated, or had to walk away from, or have been walked walked away from by a cycle rickshaw driver. So now when the distance is small and I see a cycle I go for it.
I make it to the station and get on my train no problem. I was lucky enough to get a spot in the foreigner's quota for 3rd class AC. I get to my birth or whatever and it turns out I am sharing with a relatively large family from Nepal who have two small children. These children provide endless entertainment. I pretty much just sit there and watch them do everything from hanging off the bunks upside down, to reading stories to each other, to going over to the small baby that is in the aisle next to us and stealing its water.
Needless to say the journey passed extremely quickly with these children to keep me company. As if the extremely pleasant atmosphere of Indian Railways rajdhani Express 3rd AC (with its meals, blankets, and ice cream!) wasn't enough, the family invited me to their home in Kathmandu when I told them I planned to visit in July. Since it is already July 13, I currently write to you from Kathmandu Nepal.
Don't worry, I will explain the rest of India's shenanigans, how I got here, and when I am coming back, but all in due time friends. Here in Kathmandu there are time schedules for the power and it turns off in the afternoon sometimes, so I am going to stop short here so that I don't get to carried away and BAM! the post is gone. We will start again at 22 June 2010 6:30 am at Bangalore City Railway Station. Until then.
Posted by amissy at July 13, 2010 02:51 AM