Wednesday, June 8, 2011

8 June 2011 7:34 AM

I’ve been very busy the last couple of days.  Orientation lasts for about 13 hours each day, 9-10.

Monday was spent mostly in discussion and getting to know one another.  The people here are all very smart and likeable.  I’m lucky to have others my age with which to work.  Since several are from Boston, it’s likely we’ll stay in touch.

After boardroom meetings, we went and visited Narendra Nele.  Nele is an organization which caters to orphans and ragpicker children who often don’t go to school.  It was an amazing experience.  All of the boys were so smart and eager to interact.  They very much enjoyed seeing American currency and talking about things they knew.

Yesterday was very similar.  The day began with Kannada lessons and program overviews.  We spent all afternoon and evening visiting various slums in Bangalore.  At the last slum, we actually separated into small groups and ate dinner with a few of the families whose daughters had become education volunteers.  Most of the families were of Tamil descent and so communication was very minimal.  Few foreigners seemed to have been to the slums.  People often stared at me and the other white people.  Many children would follow and want to touch us.  Others would ask for pictures on their mobile phones.

My eating patterns are still a bit off.  I am hungriest in the morning and have hardly any appetite at night.  It could also be that my Auntie is an excellent cook and makes things much more delicious than what we usually get at work.

I finally know where we live:
Nama mane Tyagarajnagar ali ide

Swathi at Nele

Me at Nele

One of Hindu Seva Pratishthana's Tution Centers

Slum area in Bangalore

Temple near Gurukulam

Swathi, Sagrika, Liz, and Pragya at Gandhi Bazaar

Green bean sabji, raitha, roti, and pickle

Boys at Narendra Nele

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