My internship is wonderful. (although I am excited to be home soon) The name of my NGO is Gravis. I am at the NGO with two other girls from my program, which is nice because we can laugh about things together.We are living at one of their centers in a village that is about a 2 ½ hour bus ride outside of the city Jodhpur ( so I am about 10 hours from the city of Jaipur) There are a few families that live at this center and all the men that work for this center live here on work days, while their families live in villages that are at least an hour away. All of the men that live here are very nice and laugh at us all the time because I guess we do funny things. I have sooo many funny stories so I will just highlight a few of them….
1. There is a well on the Gravis’ campus (as they call it)…so the women from the surrounding areas come and get water every morning and evening. The first day that we were here there was a camel cart filling up with water and THEN a bunch of ladies came to get water and approached us by saying “namaste, namaste, namaste”….so we sat there and they began to pick at us…yes, like moneys pick at each other. I was wearing a pair of linen pants and a shirt…normal outfit right?...WRONG!...haha…no its just that the women here all wear skirts with petti coats underneath them and TWO shirts…so this women (actually a girl that is my age, but married so she seems like a woman to me) named Kabu, she was laughing at my pants and then picking at my shirt, she even LOOKED down my shirt to see what I was wearing underneath…haha…and she lifter up my sleeve so I FLEXED!!!...my HUGE muscles and she thought that was really funny…haha…they laughed at the fact that we had our hair in buns and pony tails…our hair was supposed to be in BRAIDS!!!...duh!!...and why didn’t we have earings in and bangles and necklaces and anklets???? They were freaking out because we did not have JEWELRY on !!!...baaaaaaaaaah…I DON’T wear jewelry!...haha…they are changing me here…I wear jewelry everyday! Crazy huh?
2. We usually take jeeps out into the field…which ACTUALLY feel like the
3. It is a regular activity in the evening to go to the sand dunes near by and run up them…which is O SOO tiring!!!...and then we watch the sunset over the desert and then jump off the sand dunes and see who can jump the farthest down the sand dunes and take pictures, and laugh and pull countless POKEYs out of our feet.
4. We drink chai at village homes that we visit everyday.
5. I sit with the kitchen lady in the morning or evening and pull the skin off of garlic or onions…sometimes we get into minor food fights. She ALWAYS tries to get me to eat chiles everytime that I go in there. She likes to have me sit with her and roll the chipati dough with her and make the chipatis…while bugs and rats run by us on the floor.
6. We probably have worms because we are drinking the ground water here, well water, basically anything that any villager gives us…haha…don’t worry I will take parasite medicine when I get home to kill whatever might be growing in my stomach.
7. We often DREAM about Christmas dinner and Christmas treats and in-n-out and sushi…basically ANYTHING…haha…our meals whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner consists of vegetables cooked in LOTS of yellow oil and chipatis (kinda like tortillas but not) and dal (lentils)…I am still not a fan of eating vegetables in the morning for breakfast but I get it down.
8. The children that live here LOVE hanging out with us…and it can be rather TIRING…and they ALWAYS want us to give them gifts…haha…because previous students that have been here have given them gifts…so sometimes we share a little something with them.
OK, enough stories…there are SOOO many. I think that I will just tell you what a typical day looks like for me and then I will be done.
-wake up at 7:30 for prayers…which is a prayer to all gods and then there is a short
meeting of what tasks the day consists of. Everyone shows up in their pj’s and all of the
men’s hair has yet to be combed.
-breakfast around 8:30
-take showers and sweep our rooms
-leave for the field around 9:30…usually includes a trip to a few places where they have
implemented water harvesting devices…talk to a few self help groups..and ask lots of
questions to learn about the impact of these things that Gravis is supporting
-come back for lunch
-usually rest from 2-4…because it is WICKED hot and no one else does anything during
-play with the school children (there is a school for the village children on the campus that
we are living)
-tea time at 5
-walk to the sand dunes, watch the sunset, jump off the san dunes
-come back and help Sita, the kitchen lady, with dunner
-dinner time around 8ish
-go to a cultural program or play with children or get henna done or watch a hindi film…so
I am learning tons by just interacting with the villagers and loving it. I am still healthy and alive so that is a good sign. I get more and more excited about going home and seeing all of you and being able to go to church, but until then I am doing my best to take in Indian village life at its fullest!!!...and let me tell you there is A LOT to take in. Love you guys!!!! I definitely will not be back to internet for another three weeks…so until then…ENJOY LIFE! J