Namaste

Trip Start Jan 15, 2008
1
14
Trip End Oct 06, 2008


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of India  ,
Thursday, January 24, 2008

It amazes me that no matter how 'experienced' a traveler one is, any new environment has the propensity to throw you for a frickin' loop. And of all the loops that I have been whipped around, this one has by far been the most difficult. Getting over the initial fear of being dropped in a place where I know no one and can't communicate with the majority of the population is a constant challenge...as is the fact that the toilet consists of a hole in the ground, and the bathroom at my house is a small room attached out back. Goodbye toilet paper and hello bucket showers!

But is great, I love being barefoot all the time and the weather right now is beautiful. Cool in the evenings, around 65 F during the day with not a cloud in sight. Just my cup of tea......and speaking of tea, I don't think I will ever get tired of chai... at least 4 times a day. Basically any opportunity to have tea, the Indians take it. The day is almost structured around it; breakfast (tea), wait around to begin talking about what the day's work will be, discuss the plan of action but 'wait lets have tea before we actually start doing anything', and then before you know it it's lunchtime. (Food is delicious btw, all vegetarian- and surprisingly not that hot. Love getting home plated dinner deliveries from the neighbors....so generous!) Ohhhh extended time....and I mean extended! Expect everything to happen at least an hour and a half after the fact!

I arrived in Mumbai (on the morning of the 17th...although I really had no sense of time or space at this point) to the stuffy heat and smog. Got a tiny glimpse of the bustling city but was too weary and perhaps ambivalent about the whole experience that I was about to embark on to take in all that much. Seemed chaotic enough though, and a healthy mix of old world meets bustling metropolis. Of course my flight to Bhuj (my smaller town in the country) was delayed- but only by an hour. Most of the passengers were amazed at my choice of destination....not the most frequented of places for foreigners! The first few days here were a bit of a blurr...still jet-lagged, confused, freaked out and trying to process everything that was thrown at me. My roommate is lovely and I have met a number of the people that I am going to be working with...some language barriers but all in all it seems to be a very warm and caring group.

I sort of have a floating office and schedule, which is cool. 2-3 days a week I will be out in the field, traveling all around the area collecting data about the musical traditions of the various communities. The other 3 days I will be in the office compiling and trying to make sense of it all. Basically my task is to create a documentation cell, comprised of a music library/resource room that will house recordings and information about the region's folk music. My NGO's (Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan) ultimate goal is to create a network supported nationally and internationally that will bring together musicians to preserve the folk traditions and carry them on through music academies. I've got a lot of work cut out for me and am just trying to organize it all right now so as not to get too overwhelmed.

So, onwards with patience, flexibility, and no expectations.....(hopefully!)
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

dadzy
dadzy on

Bhujette
Nice job. This is a very cool site. Life is clearly more spare than what you are used to...perhaps this helps narrow one's focus to life's essentials...whatever they may be.

Dadzy

wireguy17
wireguy17 on

So Happy
You are settling in. What you are doing is going to be such an amazing experience and unlike anything anyone I know is doing or has ever done! Keep the pictures and the Blog's coming-talk soon.......B

sandiegofriend
sandiegofriend on

Great adventure
An amazing experience - glad you included me and keep the daily diary going and enjoy each and every day

mmzy
mmzy on

Jette into Bhuj....You go girl!
What sights to see... a first small sampling of the saturated colors and historic vibrancy that this country offers...
You must be the change to want to see in the world...Gandi
You are incredible...keep the pix coming
huge hugz
mmzy

katg08
katg08 on

Hello There
Very exciting news. Your mom shared your blog with me - so I thought I'd send you a message of courage. What an experience to get plopped where you don't know all the boundaries and language. Like starting all over as an innocent. I'm confident you'll find your legs and sound. Can't wait hear all about the music you discover. Oh BTW! sorry about your toilet :) Love,
Katherine

zoem
zoem on

Namaste
Thank you for your lovely letter. I bet the way you view the world has changed. You will never be the same again. You will come to realize that the cow is one wonderful animal. He is same like God, chasing each other in traffic, so observe, be careful and keep your eyes peeled! Have you been to a cricket match or seen any Indian movies yet? Zoem

zoem
zoem on

Namaste
Thank you for your lovely letter. I bet the way you view the world has changed. You will never be the same again. You will come to realize that the cow is one wonderful animal. He is same like God, chasing each other in traffic, so observe, be careful and keep your eyes peeled and your nerves on the curves! Look after your folks when they come - They think they are coming to check up on you but after Mumbai and Delhi you'll be looking after them. Zoem

Add Comment

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: