Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's hard to blog in the dark...

Haha! Experienced my first black out last night. I thought that I was going through another one a minute ago, but it was just that my room mate had left the room with the key, and that means lights out here in India. The hotel we are staying at has this ingenious way of not wasting electricity by putting your room key in a slot that allows you to turn on the lights. Now if only there could be a way to convince them that two stoke bikes are bad for the environment...
Today was long, but good. We went to the Center of Developing Services (CDS), which is the campus that was designed by Laurie Baker and currently houses one of his NGOs, Cost Ford. It was really interesting, we had several hours of lectures about Baker's background and life, the qualities and differences of Cost Ford, CDS, and the Laurie Baker Center (LBC).  It was defintly a jam packed day of information and picture taking. The CDS campus is amazing. All of the architecture and design was done with thought on this campus, not only to having useful structures, but to have multi-uses, at minimal cost and low impact on the environment, all while making places that people wanted to be. There was flow between the buildings and even a hidden concept of mangoes. No to mention the plant life and landscaping really made it a comfortable location.I really loved it. If I ever had the opportunity to study on a campus as serene as that, I'm pretty sure I would never want to leave, but on the plus side I would spend more time studying. I ended taking so many pictures that not only did I get lost from the group at one point, but I over heated my camera. Poor little guy.
After the long day of lecturing, touring and picture taking, we all took a trip to Fab India, a store that basically has all that one would need to dress as a modern day Indian woman. Yes, I shopped and yes it was interesting. I liked the clothing, it was light and seemed very comfortable, but the style is quite different from what females in America wear. But I think I'm going to try to rock it out when I get back to the states. Ok kiddos, I'm sleepy. I hope all is well, and I will defiantly post some pictures tomorrow. Until then I leave you a picture of me trying to eat with my hands, that I tried to take by myself, and an upclose shot of some Jack fruit. Enjoy!

P.S. ~The Chi is AMAZING!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


First day on Indian soil

So the rest of my flight was long and good. I was nervous because when I first got to my seat there was a woman who was holding a 12 month old baby, so naturally I was prepared to put in some ear plugs and braced myself for 13 1/2 hours of uncomfortable hell. But to my surprise the baby slept the ENTIRE way to Abu Dahbi! What a champ! This left me in enough peace and quite to enjoy such gems of movies as "The Other Guys", "Predator", and my favorite "Eclipse". I also enjoyed some tasty lamb and curry on the plane ride. So much better than anything served on an American airline.
The airport in Abu ahbi was interesting. It reminded me of an our day version of the Catina on Tatoonie. (I say our day, because if I said modern day then that would make it obsolete either way, right?) There was some interesting people watching... I'll post some pics soon.
Anyway, arrived in Trivandrum tired,smelly, and tired. Met most of the class, which are all planners, except for one girl who is an econ major. We got our rooms, and then I showered and passed out. We were only given a few hours to sleep because by the time we arrived and made it through customs and to our hotel it was 6am. We agreed to meet at noon and then we walked to a great vegetarian Indian place. I successfully ate my food with no utensils, with my right hand! I'm very proud of my self! Anyway, about to go shop at the Indian equivalent of H&M. Wish me luck. More later.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh Chicago!

Okay, so traveling to India with the University of Iowa, with a group of people who I have never met, who all live in various states can lead to interesting incidents. After amazingly watching the guy on my flight from New Orleans experience sleep terrors during his in flight nap, I deboard and head to Chicago's international terminal. The Etihad airline counter that I had to check into was closed. As I left the counter I spot a girl in a University of Iowa shirt, and I think tho myself "Maybe she's on the same trip as me." So I walk up and ask her if she is going to India for a study abroad program, her response is "yes". Great, I think, I get to start getting to know those who I am traveling with for the next three weeks. I introduce myself and we start talking. In this time the instructor, who I have this whole time thought was a man, turns out to be an older woman. Okay, simple misunderstanding, Jerry can be a woman's name as well. Oliva, the girl I made initial contact with, and I start talking about the program, traveling, the flight, ect... It's when we start talking about how this subject is going to be so depressing and how hospices can be so sad, I realize that maybe we are not taking the same class.  Sure enough, no we are not.(Which explains why Olivia gave me such a weird look when I was telling her I was really excited about the subject we are going to be studying and how fun it will be.) Apparently there are several (or at least two) programs heading to Trivandrum through the University of Iowa. Easy mistake. I politely excused myself from the group and headed off on my own. So this really isn't the funny part. Now everyone else in the group has been coming up and introducing themselves to me, because they think I am part of the group. Awkward.

And so it begins...

Here I am on the first leg of several flights over the next 24 hours to make it to Trivandrum. So far it has been going great. Made it through security and on to the plane without a hitch. When I boarded, I agreed with one concerned mom to switch seats with her daughter so they could sit together. This simple arrangement was rewarded with a free vodka tonic! Thank you very much American Airlines flight attendant, or better known as "drink lady", at least to my friend Joe. I really have nothing to report besides that. I'm defiantly not looking forward to a 7 hour layover in Chicago... I guess I'll have plenty of time to read or goof off on my computer, or maybe even eat a hot dog... The long of the short is that I will most likely post more random thoughts for your enjoyment, generate by my boredom.