May 31, 2007
Stream of consciousness.
In the dregs of Dastkar’s library I turned page after page until the tips of my fingers became black with dust. Belatedly discovering this treasure trove, I feverishly absorbed as much information as I could in my last few hours at the office this week; I was preparing for a trip to the Dastkar shop that works specifically with a women’s crafts group near Ranthambhore Reserve, in Rajasthan. The library shelves are full with annual reports, conference summaries from a gamut of social causes, and extra copies of educational media printed about crafts, bazaars, and even other NGO’s. For now I am appreciating the scenery of this train ride; I am headed to northern hill-station town Mussoorie following an invitation by friends. Thus far I have received multiple warnings to take care of myself and be wary of the cool weather. I remind these “Aunties” that if anything this will be closer to my natural habitat, noting it snowed for the last time two weeks before my departure to India.
There are some distinct mars in the landscapes we pass. Mingled amongst the trees and in the distance beyond green pastures and golden fields are tall, circular stacks that raise high into the skyline. Black fumes seem to respire from their coal-stained mouths. With .little productivity to be seen I wonder to what end the monsters compromise our air, land, and water.
Today I read in the Hindustan Times that a recent study from the U.S. found that really friendly people, or antagonistic ones, tend to sleep around more. It cracks me up to see this article comprises the input of news from the U.S.
On the way to the station I saw a dog chasing a monkey through the streets. This was almost as cool as when an elephant nonchalantly walked by my window as I checked my mail in a local internet café. Now if I can just find one to ride…
Embedding yourself in a foreign cultural system isn’t just about learning on the interpersonal microlevel. I find myself utterly confused about how economic and social systems work on a macro scale. I am totally clueless to how legislature actually comes to pass here. So often we rely on the government to regulate and protect us, but what if the basic premise of a governmental system is flawed? Also in the Hindustan Times was a picture of melting Mt. Everest. In just forty years the state of the world has been irrevocably compromised, beyond repair in our lifetimes. I actually am quietly terrified that we are destroying the planet and our futures. The people who have the resources to care don’t because they can easily navigate around the destruction. Can you really “be the change” and take private taxis everywhere? Can you “be the change” and eat at world-renowned luxury restaurants that import half of the foods found in the kitchen?
Additionally, I am confused about the reality of state-to-state relationships, the consequences of Western media on developing and malleable worlds, and the essential contributions of globalization to the state of humanity and the planet.
PS. THERE IS NOW CONFLICT IN RAJASTHAN. First the Punjab, now this! Updates to come.
Posted by tvanderm at May 31, 2007 10:36 PM