June 13, 2006
Sightseeing and the Such
This weekend I spent doing touristy type stuff with a couple of different people. It was good in that I got to see different parts of the city and it really made me realize truly how huge this city actually is. We went down to the Gateway of India and then into the Taj Mahal Palace, which is, by far, the most gorgeous hotel I've ever seen. We then spent some time walking around the area known as Colaba in the southern part of the city.
This week I should be starting my work here with Humsafar in earnest. I will be working with a research project whose primary aim is to study and understand the sexual and social networks of MSM(men who have sex with men) and transgendered individuals. This will then be used to understand how HIV prevention methods can best be implemented and disseminated.
As a side note, I've discovered something. This is the fact that there is no such thing as the "correct" clothing for this climate. I have found nothing that I can wear in which I will not continuously sweat and be hot beyond belief. Just thought you all should know.
June 07, 2006
Here in Mumbai
I finally arrived in Mumbai late on Friday night. Unfortunately, Air France had lost my luggage and I wouldn't get it back until Sunday morning. I stayed Friday and Saturday nights at the home of one of the gracious employees of Humsafar Trust, as my accommodations were not yet ready.
On Saturday, I went shopping for some clothes, as all of my clothing was in the piece of luggage that was lost. After that, I was taken to Humsafar's main office and introduced to many of the employees. I spent Sunday exploring a couple of different parts of the city near where I would be living. It was good in that it helped me get a sense of the area so that I could navigate it on my own. That night I moved into my room at the new Humsafar office, which will start working next week. Not only will I be living there, but I will also be working there. Needless to say, I'll never be able to escape.
On Monday, I started at Humsafar. So far I've mainly been getting a sense of what the organization does and how it's set up. I will soon be deciding exactly how I want to go about my research.
My first impressions of Mumbai have been very interesting. There are many things that have shocked me, such as the traffic. Let's just say that I'm ever so thankful that I don't have to drive here, as I think I would go mad. I've also been intrigued by the side-by-side mixture of developed and developing. It's somewhat disorienting seeing slum right next to or actually in what would be considered a nice, respectable neighborhood. I can't to see what else this city has to offer.
April 14, 2006
Hello from Andrew
Hello everyone! My name is Andrew McBride. I am working in Mumbai with the Humsafar Trust, an organization that works for the rights of gay men and MSM(men who have sex with men). I am assisting in the advocacy and organizing for gay rights. I am also gaining a hands-on working knowledge of the mechanisms and intricacies of gay rights activism in Mumbai.
Here is a link to my individual blog for India: