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

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Goodbye Udaipur!

Wow, I can't believe the internship has come to an end. I just submitted my final report to my supervisor at PEDO, an impact assessment about women from the Self-Help Groups selling Hindustan Limited Products through a program called Shakti. Hindustan Limited is owned by Unilever, and they make stuff like soap, shampoo, toothepaste, etc. Anyway, I don't have much time to write so here's a quick recap of what's going on:

I said goodbye to everyone at PEDO on Tuesday. The week before, Mr. Vyas' mother passed away. She was living with us and was a sweet lady, but she was in great pain ever since her husband died earlier in the year and she had a paralyzing stroke from the shock. As a result, Mr. Vyas, his brother and their wives had to go to this mother's village for a two week mourning period. So unfortunately I didn't get to see much of him toward the end of my internship but he kept me busy nonetheless. After a week, all the men in the family had to shave their heads as it's traidition amongst the Brahmins after a death. For the last week in Dungarpur Baby, my host sister, had to go to a microfinance conference in Chennai, which is in western India. So with my supervisor and his wife gone, the only people in the house were me, Sweta, my host brother Atikool (back from Russia), and my two little host cousins, Hillary and Maggie. On Tuesday we went to Mr. Vyas' birth village where the family has to stay until August 15th when the mourning period ends. It was good to see everyone one last time and say goodbye properly. Even my servant was there helping out so I got to thank him in person. As rough as adjusting to life in Dungarpur was for me, it was such an amazing experience and the family was so wonderful in how they opened up their home and hearts to me. Specifically, I will miss Sweta (host sister-in-law) and Baby (host sister) the most. On my last night, Sweta dressed me up in a Sari, which I'll post a picture of.

Back in Udaipur, it's been one last week of hanging out with the interns and friends I've made here. We had a fancy goodbye dinner, where I unfortunately had allergic reaction number 5 (apparently fancy dining is a culprit for nut allergies). I took a meeting with a guy from one of the NGOs who is setting up a new microfinance group within his organization, and I am hoping to help out remotely and maybe return for a project over my christmas break or next summer. I've also spent a bunch of time with the weekend host family and getting to know them better has been great. My host father owns a marble mine, and myself and the other Capitalistic Intern, Olen, are going to hopefully work with him on setting up a nice marble importing business in America.

Today, most of the interns left for a flight to Delhi where they all will scatter and return to their various parts of the world. We had one last slumber party at Namrata's two nights ago, and saying goodbye was tough. We had such a great group of people and everyone got along. They are all wonderful people and I feel priveleged to have gotten to know them. I only hope we all stay in touch.

Now today, there are a few of us left behind and hanging around. I had to scratch my Goa trip because between flight costs, monsoon season, and India Independence Day, it just got too difficult and expensive given the short time frame I have for travel. Instead, I am staying here until tomorrow night when I'll take a bus to Jaipur, the biggest city in Rajasthan. I'm excited to see it because it's obviously a not to be missed destination. Hopefully I'll meet some interesting people there to keep me company. Then on Wednesday morning, I'll take a bus to Delhi. My host brother Chickoo from my Dungarpur family is studying Architecture in Delhi and we plan to meet up at the bus station and hang out all day. Then, ta 10:45 PM I catch hoepfully what will be a high security and safe flight home to the big NJ. I get in at 4:35 in the morning and plan to be out on the town in NYC by happy hour that evening.....so if you want to meet up you know my number.

I'll try posting again from Jaipur to reflect more on my internship experience and will load some pictures up above.


At 9:10 AM, Blogger Sanju said...

Chennai is not in western India rather its southern Indian state Tamilnadu. Nice to know you are returning home eventually..I'm not in Udaipur and I'm really sorry not to meet you. Have a safe Journey.


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