August 28

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A Room with a View

Well this is my fourth week in India….sorry it has taken me some time to write an update. However, it feels as if it has been a long few weeks and lots of things have happened to me and I could probably make a comedy serial out of the adventure in the last few weeks.   Nothing is as smooth as you would like and all I can say is that they have been very stressful weeks with lots of anticipations that didn’t quite work out as expected. Hey but this is a new environment for me.  Language is a bit of an issue, and most of all the heat and humidity is unbearable.  Don’t know what has happened to the monsoon rain…apart from some rain in the first week…nothing to date.

I have finally moved to my new home which is a two bedroom apartment and literally next door to the office.  So I am living in the village and my front balcony overlooks a small field and cow sheds where milking occurs beyond that.  Just hope the wind continues to blow in the other direction and doesn’t change course. Finding a furnished flat in the outskirts of Delhi was not easy.  So with the combination of renting, buying and some furniture provided by the landlady, I now have a home.  Still not everything one would have in a home but it is a start (e.g. no wardrobes so living from the suitcase).  Certainly a big difference from the five star hotel that I had been living in up until now.

On the weekends haven’t really done very much …visited a couple of temples (it was Janmastmi, Lord Krishna’s birthday celebrations, so a good atmosphere) and then decided to invite myself over to a contact I had been given who lives nearby.  It was good to finally meet F2F them.  Last weekend I was able to visit Seema, another PULSE volunteer, who has a home assignment with the Navjyoti Foundation…that was really enjoyable.   Home cooked pasta.

View from my balcony

View from my balcony

view from my balcony on the right

View from the balcony on the right

That brings me onto my assignment.  The foundation has three offices and there are three PULSE volunteers, one at each of their offices.  I am based at the Majri, Karala office which is about 10 km outside of Delhi.  The staff are really warm and friendly and there is a good social atmosphere over lunch and after work. I discovered on the first day that there is a minibus which some of the staff who commutes by metro use.  I managed to get a lift in this minibus on a daily basis as my hotel was literally yards from the station.  I was lucky to be able to take part in celebration of India’s Independence Day…the foundation had organised a march and a play was performed in the streets in the local village. My first task on the project was to devise a health and nutrition seeking behavioural survey…the draft of which was done. However, on Saturday, my whole weeks work was wiped out by a virus.  The antivirus software I had deleted the whole file rather than the virus!

Independence day celebrations

Independence day celebrations