MicrofinanceGirl

A candid description of my trip from NYC to rural India and finally to U. of Michigan, Ross School of Business. Go Blue!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Cashew Cometh!

Well the second hindi word I learned after mungfali (peanut) is masala, which means spicy. This particularly pertains to the Chicken Masala I had for lunch the other day. Apparently Indians use cashew nuts to thicken the masala sauce, which I learned shortly after finishing lunch when I upchucked on the sidewalk in front of 10 other interns and a couple of rickshaw drivers! From there I had to be taken back to the hotel where I stabbed myself with an EpiPen. Once that took effect I felt much better. But shortly thereafter, a case of Delhi Belly set in which still hasn't left me. As you can see, it hasn't been all fun and games so far. A couple of other people in the group have felt sick but so far I am the weakest link! Each day I get better and we are busy all the time so that keeps my mind off of the illness.

There are 11 interns total and everyone is great. 4 of us are older and seven are college students. They are all so wise, mature and nice. I am so impressed by each of them. My roommate is Krisitn, a grad student in International Development at American University. Her blog and some others are linked to the right.

Everday for the last week we have Hindi lessons from 10 until 1 pm. After that we break for 2 hours which is usually time to run errands. Over the last few days I've gotten a cell phone and picked out my clothes to be made. For $28 I am getting 3 pants, 4 suit shirts and 2 scarves tailor made!

The late afternoons are spent with our Program Coordinators: Payal, Namrata and Rajul. Usually we have a speaker from one of the non-profits come. Today we are going to watch a Bollywood movie and then head to the light show at the City Palace this evening. We've also been exploring a lot of the Old City, where our hotel is. The Old City is full of winding alleyway-like streets with shops of every kind. Rickshaws and motor bikes honk their way past pedestrians, cows, stray dogs and even the occasional elephant. The interns still tease me because apparently we passed an elephant in the road the first night here and I didn't even notice!

There aren't too many tourists here right now, but in a week the rains come and then as one shopkeeper told me, "on July 15 the Spaniards come!" Apparently that's when the fun begins. The people are all very friendly. Children shout hello and everyone will try to speak with you in English. By far the most beautiful part about Udaipur is the sunset. Yesterday we took rickshaws up to Monsoon Palace, an abandoned palace on top of a mountain, and watched the sunset. It was quite a climb up and one or 2 of the rickshaws couldn't make it! Some of the interns even got out and helped push with the driver.

There are lots of NGOs(non-government organizations) here...an entire street is called NGO row. All of the interns but 2 of us will be in Udaipur. Myself and the other guy will be about 3 hours away, but in opposite directions. On the weekeds we will both stay with the same family in the city. However, it is a 6-day work week here so while you all are relaxing each Saturday, I'll be grinding away!
Tomorrow our stay at our beautiful hotel ends and we will meet our host families (for me I will meet my weekend family). Then on Monday Payal and I will drive out to Dungarpur to drop me off at my site. I am very much looking forward to working with PEDO. I've been reading some material on them and they sound like an impressive organization. I think they've been implementing microcredit iniatives since the late 80's and the founder has received training at Grameen Bank, the most successful Microfinance Institution.

That's all for now. I promise to figure out the best way to start posting pictures soon. Also, PLEASE leave comments/questions/whatever. If you are in NJ, there is an article coming out about me in the Daily Record this Sunday I believe, so keep and eye out for it!

Namaste

4 Comments:

At 1:55 PM, Blogger UPennOlie said...

Do elephants in India have little cloth bags behind them like horses in Central Park?

 
At 10:57 PM, Blogger MGalBlue said...

Sorry to hear about Deli Beli. Try to visit the Lake palace while you are in Udaipur. It is really nice. Do you plan to go to Delhi ?

 
At 9:26 PM, Blogger Jaynath Sisodiya said...

Hi it is good to knowing about u and especially about Rajasthan trip. I am from Rajasthan if u want more information u can contact me.

 
At 9:26 PM, Blogger Jaynath Sisodiya said...

Hi it is good to knowing about u and especially about Rajasthan trip. I am from Rajasthan if u want more information u can contact me.

 

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