Homey Home

I'm home. Yay. I loves it. I love this country. D'ya wanna know why?

It's clean. The water is clean. Not that many bugs. Traffic is orderly. People eat beef. Cafe Rio. People can sing properly. Not that many fat old women wear belly shirts. People poop in toilets.

I got home on Wednesday. First place I ate: Cafe Rio. Thanks to my awesome mother. Best meal of my life. Wednesday night: best sleep of my life.

On Saturday the fam went up to Bear Lake. It was cold. And after a few hours it got really windy. Too windy. So windy that there were white caps which meant we were done. So we got some delicious Bear Lake famous raspberry shakes then drove down to Logan and unpacked my stuff in 3 minutes. We got some pizza at Firehouse and then split up. They went home and I went to my new apartment, which is pretty much awesome.

Now, I'm trying to scope out some hotties.


oh dear, what a riot!

This week was kind of a riot.

For the past 2 weeks we have been in Medak. It's about a 2 or 3 hour bus ride from our apt in Hyderabad depending on your bus selection. We've been working with SKS. We each were assigned to a field officer and everyday they pick you up on their motorcycle and take you to a village where they try to find people for their program. They find people who are ultra poor and help them out by giving them a cow or something that they can use for a business. We all had some surveys (mine was on nutrition) so after talking to the villagers about their program, they would do our surveys. They were our translaters, but they weren't too awesome at English.

I was with Jailsingh. He's pretty small, like most Indian men. He had a mustache, like all Indian men. He picked me up everyday and I rode on the back of his motorcycle. We'd go get breakfast, which was super good, and go off to a village. When we got out of town the scenery was awesome. It was super green and rocky. What's even more awesome is that as we drove down the road, there were people squatting just on the side of the road, doing their business. I saw at least 5 people a day doing this; kids, teenagers, and old men and women. There were also herds of water buffalo, goats, sheep, and cows blocking the roads. We would get back to where we were staying at about noon or so everyday (we left at 6:30am), then get lunch, then just hang out.

We stayed at some little dormitories next to a Cathedral. I shared a room with Grace. They had squat toilets and a fan. No AC. It was bearable, except for that in India, the power goes out at least once a day. It could be out for 1 minute or 2 hours.

There were monkeys all over the Cathedral grounds and some around our dormitories. One day, Grace and I were just chillin in our room. The door was open a bit because it was so hot inside. I was standing on the opposite side of the room away from the door. Grace was sitting on her bed, which is right next to the door. All the sudden she was like, "Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh." I looked over and there was a fairly large sized monkey walking into our room. I froze. I didn't know what to do! So we both just stared at it. It started rummaging in Grace's duffle bag. She had some goldfish with her so I told her to throw some out into the hall. She did, but the monkey wasn't interested. He moved onto Grace's grocery bag full of goodies and grabbed a package of crackers. Then he slowly decided to leave, so I ran to the door and shut it. It was terrifying!

On Wednesday, after we visited a few villages, all of our field officers took us to a Hindu Temple called Durgabavani. It was pretty cool. They had to take a billion pictures with us. They each wanted one with Kurt and me. Or just him. Or just me.

Some of the field officers.

Jailsingh and me.

Me, Jailsingh, Ravinder, Praveen

They also took us to a dam, where we took even more pictures.

On Thursday, the craziest thing happened. Jailsingh and I were driving back into town. Some old lady (I would guess age 70, but Indian women always look 15 years older than they are) was walking across the street. Traffic is always crazy. She saw we were headed straight for her and froze. Jailsingh didn't know which way to go and she didn't either. So what happened? We ran right into her. She was facing us, so we flew right into her stomach. It sounded like a belly flop and she flew back, leaving her flip flops behind. I jumped off and so did Jailsingh, so we were totally fine. He went to park his bike while a crowd of more than 50 people gathered around. The old lady started screaming and punching Jailsingh. It made me so mad! We had to take her to a little health clinic and get her blood pressure checked and her heart rate. She had a bit of a scrape on her elbow and kept moaning about that. She also had a coughing fit after drinking some water. I think she was totally exaggerating her injuries. Then Jailsingh had to take her to a bigger hospital. This made me so mad because I think if she was okay enough to get right up and start punching Jailsingh, she's probably not too injured. But, whatever. Some other SKS guys picked me up and took me home, while Jailsingh went to the bigger hospital, where he spent 700 rupies on this old woman for a 'stomach problem'. That's about 15 bucks, which is kind of a lot here. These field officers make about 100 or less American dollars a month. So 15 is kind of lot.

So, it was a bit of a crazy week. We took a bus back to Hyderabad Friday afternoon. I leave back to America on Tuesday. I CANNOT wait. Seriously.


Indian Photoshoot

Today we went back to the orphanage. Prashanth, the 'dad', wanted me to take portraits of all the kids so they could put the pictures on the walls. The only problem was that we had to do it on their little porch which is gated off. So there was like no variety. Only a few different walls and a tree. But they're cute anyway because all the kids are adorable. I'm going to edit them when I get home, but for now, here's the best ones.


Awkward Family Photos

At the Baby Taj we took some awesome family photos.
I can't tell you how hard I laughed after seeing them.



Friday morning, Kiira, Kurt, Marie, and I went to the train station to train our way to Agra. It took about 23 hours, but it wasn't so bad. We had some fun times.

On the train ride there there was an old mother-in-law in our berth (compartment). I was sharing a bench with her when she decided to take a nap and stretch out across the whole bench, putting her feet behind my back. It was nice.

There were many sights to see out the train window: trees, mountains, old buildings, rice fields, men pooping, men peeing, and much, much more.

The trains had squat toilets. Pretty difficult trying to squat in the wobbly train. But I managed 3 times!

We arrived in Agra with flies swarming us at 6:00 a.m. I really cannot express in words how many flies there were. We were also swarmed by taxi drivers. We took a taxi to the Taj and got our tickets. 15 dollars for foreigners and 50 cents for Indians. We put our food in the lockers, but there was a sign that said "Do not leave anything valuable in the lockers". So we went along with Kiira's laptop thinking it was probably kinda valuable. Well, when we got to security, they wouldn't let it in. They also wouldn't let me bring my face cards or Kurt's Q-tips. The best part is, they couldn't tell me the reasoning. I asked the lady why I couldn't bring my playing cards in. All she could say is, "Security reasons." And finally, "You can't play cards," or something like that.

So, Kurt and I went inside for an hour while Kiira and Marie waited with the bags. Then we switched. I was really angry when we first walked in because of the ridiculousness of the situation. But the sight of the Taj lightened me up.

After the Taj, we went to Agra Fort. It's huge. It was cool, the problem was that it was 91 degrees outside with mounds of humidity. I thought I was going to die. I was getting dizzy and sopping wet. We had a tour guide, which made it last forever. It did eventually end though.

We stayed in Hotel Ajay. It wasn't too bad. We had AC and a fairly nice toilet.

The next morning (Sunday) we went to some Tomb, which was fine, and then the Baby Taj. That was my favorite part of the whole trip. It was awesome. No one was there when we got there. We got some awesome family photos, which I'll have to get from Marie. So stay tuned for those.

I thought Hyderabad was dirty. But Agra was ten times worse. Garbage was everywhere and it smelled horrible everywhere. Don't forget the massive amounts of flies. There were herds of water buffalo walking on the streets. Huge, they were. And smelly. They pooped everywhere and blocked traffic.

It was super weird seeing all the white people. There weren't tons, but there were some. I haven't seen white people in weeks.

We did a bit of souvenir shopping Sunday afternoon. We went to 2 restaurants. I usually just eat nan cause I hate curry.

We went off for the train station in the evening. Our train was an hour late, but somehow we got home an hour early. Not bad.

When we were waiting at the train station some old beggar man came over and wouldn't leave. Finally after a few minutes of ignoring him, he did some fancy hand gestures and facial expressions, aka a curse of sorts.

So, I'd say our trip was a definite success. It was long, hot, humid, gross, dirty, and smelly; I am soooo glad it's over. But I really am glad I did it. It was fun.