El 7amdullah! It’s been finalized! I will be working with the Baroda Citizens Council (BCC). I’m currently sitting in their office but since I haven’t visited any of the villages yet, I thought I’d blog about today’s events thus far. Arrived this morning at 9:50AM and waited for everyone to show up. Met my boss again, and spoke with another employee here. Thanks to Eric and Maysa I already had a general idea of what BCC is responsible for – hence my push to change to work with this NGO. I was given a brief PowerPoint orientation today and am very excited for next week when I’ll be visiting a village. I believe I can learn a lot from them in regards to the types of the strategies, training and organization used to help keep children in schools and to help empower women. I have to admit though… I am still VERY hesitant to use the word empower… as I’m not really sure what it means, but I might have to blog about it another day – when I feel inspired.
To briefly elaborate, my work with BCC will include going to and from villages that are situated in 5 blocks. I will be responsible for creating daily reports of my visits – on the conditions witnessed, the interactions of the village people, children, and so forth. On Friday, I will be responsible for typing up the reports and filing it with BCC to keep on record. The projects for the villages are geared toward the elimination of child labor and child marriages, to ensure child enrollment and continuance in schools, to empower the adolescent girls and women, and to educate and bring awareness for sustainable change to villages via training sessions, micro planning and implementation. To summarize, I’m pretty stoked to be able to finally work and am excited that the work is not only relevant to my thesis, but also to my personal passions.
Unfortunately I’m STILL waiting on proper accommodation… I hate that I’m constantly repeating myself… but I really detest the way people have been treating me here along with many of the other interns. I still don’t understand why people will take on a leadership role and take on responsibilities but be unwilling to fulfill them. It’s seriously times like these that I feel there’s no hope for humanity. But I don’t want to think about this right now since after work I will most likely HAVE to think about it and deal with it when I go to the AIESEC office for internet.
On a much lighter note, I went to lunch with Eric and Maysa to My Restaurant, the restaurant next door to the BCC office. The place was nice and the food was good. I had a ‘Chicken Russian Salad’ – vegetables, fruit, grilled chicken in a creamy sauce, an order of ‘Cheese Naan” and a fresh sweet lemon juice. Eric had chicken fried rice and a fresh pineapple and ginger juice and Maysa had a very delicious ‘Chicken Hakka Noodles’ and a fresh sweet lime soda. We chatted about some of our experiences in India thus far, some possible travel plans and of course, whilst eating why not also discuss about various types of food? I really like chatting with Eric and Maysa; they’re chill and down to earth.
I’m not sure if this is normally how things work in India – or just in this part of India, but I’ve noticed that when I go out to eat (by myself or with friends), if there is leftover food, no one ever asks if we want to package it to go… I usually finish everything that I have but the portions today were quite big and I couldn’t finish everything so I decided to ask if I could have it packaged to go. Our waiter nodded but when he came back he brought something that looked like an ashtray? I had to giggle to myself because I was confused but he looked about 100x more confused than me. We had to explain what we meant, they finally understood but it seems that we confused them even more so than before. They did package my food but in tin foil rather than boxes. I say whatever’s clever; I just didn’t want to waste food. When they brought my packaged food back our waiter also brought me a menu… I had thought it was weird that we were a party of three yet there was only one menu. But that was clarified soon enough when he said that it was their menu and proceeded to flip to another page. His name and number was written in the right-hand corner and he pointed and said, “Please call me”. I said thanks, got embarrassed and I looked at Eric who was holding down a laugh and I looked over at Maysa who was fiddling with her phone. I wanted to laugh to break my embarrassment but I just smiled and tried to not make myself feel even more so embarrassed. We left shortly after, back to office… where I am now.
It’s about 3:55PM and I have to say that being able to just sit and type is nice. Not sitting and typing for a class, but I think I’m starting to get back into the swing of writing – it makes me happy… at least most of the time. I’m looking out the second floor checker patterned padlocked window and I see some nice greenery that dress the sides of some nearby buildings. The sky is gloomy and today is definitely not as humid as my first week in India – or maybe my body is just getting used to it. I can hear cars beeping their horns in the street and sound of cars, motor bikes and rikshaws feverishly zooming to and from. If I didn’t know any better, this second floor view, reminds me of some random commercial street in the depths of the city of Los Angeles. But the gloomy sky is constant reality check – I’m still in India.