Today has been a big blogging day. I set a goal of at least 4 entries per week, and I’ll already be down 3 after today!
A few miscellaneous thoughts.
1. I am never travelling without a pashmina/scarf again. I brought a green pashmina that I had picked up at a street market in Italy, thinking it would be nice to have on the plane. I never anticipated that I would be using it every night as a blanket. It’s large enough to cover most of me at once, but it’s light enough that I don’t get hot underneath it. We don’t have air conditioning, but when the fan gets going at night, it can get a little chilly. I’m always sweaty here, but I think I’m getting a bit more accustomed to the heat. Air conditioning is such a treat. When I get home, I’m going to freeze!
2. I’ve decided that one of my favorite parts of the day here is taking a cold shower in the morning. The cold water (our only choice) wakes me up, and the open window in the bathroom makes it feel kind of like an outdoor shower. I love outdoor shower stalls at beach houses. Usually, there is Hindi/Bengali pop music blasting from the apartment building across the way, so that provides a nice soundtrack for my showers too. However, the towel that I brought to India is absolutely trashed. We’ve washed towels once or twice, but I don’t think they ever get fully dry, between the humidity and being used twice or three times a day to dry off after a shower. My once-white towel is pretty dingy now, and it smells a little mildewed. Gross.
3. India could use improvement in 2 technologies. First, brooms. All the brooms we have seen here are these little bundles of reeds. They’re about two or three feet long with no handles. The reed brooms do a great job of sweeping up big stuff, like banana peels, but they totally fail to collect any of India’s omnipresent dirt and dust. Cynthiais really bothered by the brooms–she thinks that they would work a lot better if they had handles on them so people didn’t have to stoop down so far to sweep. The other thing that India hasn’t quite figured out yet is hair ties. It’s really hot here, so not many women wear their hair down. I’m doing pretty well with headbands and hair ties, but India should really get a contract with Goody or something. They are years behind on hairtie technology. I see lots of pretty jeweled clips and barettes, but all the hairbands are big, poofy, 1980s scrunchies. Fashion faux pas for sure.
4. I’ll put more pictures up soon. It’s difficult to find an internet cafe where I can use a USB drive, so that has become a bit of a hindrance.
5. Research is coming along. I think I’m moving totally away from special ed and I’ll be looking at lesson-planning and group seating instead. Completely different. But, still quite subject to change. More on that when I figure it out.
6. Last night we set some goals. We were all feeling pretty down (week 2 blues), so we put up some motivational posters in the room and made a group bucket list. We already accomplished one of our tasks–crossing AJC Bose Road. It’s the HUGE road right near the guesthouse, the road the school is on. We crossed it last night with Carrie-Anne and her mom when we were getting a cab. It was terrifying. It’s basically 6 lanes of traffic with no crosswalks or stoplights, but people cross it all the time. Insane. In addition to our group goals, we also set personal goals. My fun goal is to make 3 friends in India, my intellectual goal is to read 10 books and blog or journal 4 times per week, my spiritual goal is to pray once a day and to read Liz’s book about Mother Teresa, and my giving goal is to spend 1 hour a day–a total of 7 hours per week–with the Rainbows. I think the most challenging goal to meet will be spending so much time with the Rainbows, because now my research is (probably) going to involve a ton of classroom observation. That’ll mean that I have to be in classrooms from 8:30 am – 2 pm, and then I will need to find Rainbow time later in the day. I think we’re going to go over to play with the Rainbows for awhile this afternoon, after we have lunch and visit the Indian Museum. We also decided that we are taking one full day off each week to do tourist things, so we feel like we’ve actualy experienced Kolkata.
Only two more Sundays, and then I’ll be home!