It’s been a week since I last blogged so I’ll do a quick recap. If you’ve read the last couple of entries then you’ll know that I had a really bizarre reaction to the malaria pills. Since that episode my body has gone on complete hiatus! My stomach has been feeling really weird with random pains. I have also been experiencing some bizarre headaches which I never get unless I’m incredibly sick. I’ve been waking up with a stuffy nose here and there, no coughs or sore throats yet so I think it might just be the humidity, heat and dust – at least I hope so. AIESEC dropped a new intern, Marina, from Russia to come work with Erik, Maysa and myself. This week has been fairly quiet which was nice in the sense that I was able to catch up on my daily reports from last week and also recuperate from last Thursday’s health episode. Unfortunately, this also means that we didn’t go to the village this week. They had to organize training sessions for the new workers.
I went and got my hair cut on Tuesday… or was it Monday… Monday yes, I got it cut earlier this week. They have no idea what “layers” mean but it’s okay, my hair feels lighter on my head and it looks fine. Maysa was unfortunately also really sick. Not sure what’s going around but it seems that a lot of the interns are getting sick – especially those in the microfinance group. But I think it might also be a bit more prevalent amongst them because they are all living in the same house… 16 or 18 people to a house… I haven’t personally been there myself, but it sounds like they are packed in like sardines. I also don’t think that it’s fair that each of them has to pay a monthly rent of 1500 rupees because their contract with AIESEC Baroda had free accommodation listed. I’m just saying… but it’s up to them, they seem to be managing and I think as long as they are able to cope then 5alas.
On Tuesday, Erik and I met two Indians who also work with us. They are both students currently enrolled studying for their master’s in social work. We went to the Chocolate Room (a really nice place for food and the only place that I’ve found with Wi-Fi) with them and worked on work stuff, hypothetically. We were really just on Facebook and checking e-mail for the bulk of our time there and of course, we ate.
On Wednesday, Erik, Maysa, and Marina came to work. I was glad to see that Maysa was feeling better. Marina left early, said she wasn’t feeling well. We worked for a while, didn’t do much except again, catch up on our reports and talked about the questionnaire constructed for work. We finalized that and should be able to utilize it next week when we resume village visits. Erik and Maysa area also leaving today with the rest of the microfinance group to go to New Delhi and Agra… I’m sad. I really wanted to go but this week was just too short of a notice and I don’t like feeling rushed. I won’t see them till next week at work. I hope they have fun though! I’ll be leaving next weekend for New Delhi and Agra! I can’t wait to see the Taj Mahal!
On Thursday, I was the only person at work since Marina didn’t come and Erik and Maysa had already left. I was able to finish my daily reports from last week with a total of 26 pages – sometimes I think I include too many details, but to me they are relevant to my overall and final analyses. I’ll have to see what my boss says after he finishes reading it; insha’Allah next week. I finished early on Thursday and wanted to see if I could go back to the apartment and get some rest but I ended up staying in the office till nearly 6PM. I didn’t take lunch so it seemed like a longer day, more so than usual. I had lunch at Café Americano, a place near my apartment. I had a chicken burrito and an iced tea. It was actually pretty good. I also bought a bar of chocolate before returning to the apartment. I have to say, my new favorite chocolate – which I actually discovered in Egypt! Is the Dairy Milk brand… and it’s milk chocolate with fruits and nuts. Oh goodness, just thinking about it now makes me want to drool! I seriously need to hit the gym when I get back to Cairo! I also need to stop eating so much… When I got back to the apartment Dana was already there resting, I briefly spoke with Asma and Feriel, they went to the Chocolate Room to finish a presentation for work. I ended up sleeping… I know India is taking a toll on my body, both physically and mentally. I slept from I think approximately 8:30PM or so until around 9:20AM this morning. I wanted to Skype my mom and I didn’t even get to do that.
So now after as brief as possible recap of the week, I am onto today, Friday. I am currently sitting at work, doing nothing but updating my blog. Well, I’m writing in a word document so I can post this on the internet when I get internet back at my apartment. So it’s now 3:30PM, half an hour since I started writing this entry. I have to say, although I’ve been at work doing nothing work related, it’s been really nice to be able to type everything that’s been on my mind. I took lunch at around 1:10PM with Nitin. It’s really nice to be able to talk to someone from India and feel sane. I mean I have met a couple Indians who I have been getting along with, but most of the time our associations are limited to the AIESEC office, which I absolutely refuse to go to unless it’s necessary. Plus, as much as I am not concerned with or partial to the age thing, I have to say being around some people who are still in their late teens makes me feel awkward. I’m not sure if this is how some of them act all the time, but it’s isolating and to some extent quite uncomfortable for me when all I hear from people are talks of “parties, drinking, smoking, etc.” I mean, I am definitely not one to talk as I have done my fair share of partying and such, but I don’t think I was ever to this extremity. And for sure, I know that I always work hard first before engaging in the partying. Sometimes I feel like some of the interns are only here simply to party away from their homes and to be able to put something on their resume. Am I being too critical?
Anyway so yeah I had lunch with Nitin and it was really nice to sit and talk with him. Our various conversations got me thinking about some personal issues of my own and of where I stand with certain types of topics; I’ll be blogging about those in my other blog. I love these types of conversations and I wish I could engage with more people here in India about these types of issues – this definitely makes me miss Egypt even more so as I often have great conversations with Egyptians!
On another note, I’m trying to figure out what to do tonight… there’s not much in Baroda, I mean literally! I’m not sure how people live like this as I am incredibly restless and agitated. I don’t like sitting around and doing nothing. I’ve been reading, surfing the net, blogging, trying to hang out with people but that only goes so far. I would like to sit at a café, work on my own stuff, sometimes go and dance, and so forth. Walk around in the park or something… But it doesn’t seem like people do these things here. Everything closes around 10:30PM and very few of the shops are opened prior to 10AM… What the heck do people do here?! I can only watch so many movies. The weather is constantly humid and hot – I mean it’s getting better el 7amdullah but still. I haven’t seen any parks, I don’t like window shopping, I actually don’t like any type of shopping or shopping related activity. I want to travel but I am limited in funds and also have work Monday through Friday. AHHHHHH!!!! This is really how I feel right now, so many flipping barriers.
Egypt I miss you.
Taiwan I miss you.
Europe I miss you.
California I miss you.
          Shoot me. Thanks.