Cheetarvas & listening.

December 30th, 2016 Today we visited Cheetarvas village, in the hills of the Aravallis. As we drove further away from the city, the hills changed from green and covered in vegetation to dry and barren. The Aravallis are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. In ancient times, they rose into the sky,…

UGER.

December 29th, 2016 Today we met with Ms. Laxmi Murthy and members of both Vikalp Design (http://www.vikalpdesign.com) and Jatan Sansthan (http://www.jatansansthan.org) to discuss their work in education on reproductive health, particularly menstruation, with young people in Rajasthan. We dove immediately into talking about UGER (meaning a new beginning), a reusable feminine pad. UGER has a…

Jungle safaris & Parle – Gs.

A short list of thoughts and events accumulated December 26-28th: Sewage Algae On a morning walk, you will quickly notice two canals running down either side of the streets in Udaipur, carrying sewage and other waste to the river. Surprisingly, most of it doesn’t smell. But, some street corners (like the one with the hut…

Christmas & the day after when I stepped in shit.

Christmas Day was spent at Chittogarh Fort, a World Heritage site and one of the largest forts in India (parts spreading over 600 acres). It is home to several palaces, gates, temples and towers, with additions dating back as late to the 7th century. The Vijay Stambha, Victory Tower, is dedicated to Vishnu and was…

Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve: My favorite day of the trip so far. We had our first Hindi lesson (expect a post on these lessons at a later date), then went to Swaraj University, about 20 minutes outside of Udaipur. Their campus, located on a 15 acre farm nestled between two mountain ranges, swapped the sounds of the…

Looking Out the Window Playlist.

“Changes” – Langhorne Slim There’s many reasons we are what we become I’m going through changes now “Open Book” – José González I feel just like an open book Exposing myself in this neighborhood Talking to people as if I knew them well Thinking that everyone has come through different kinds of hell “You Never…

Delhi to Udaipur.

Hello from Udaipur! I have a lot to update you all on since the last post. Before we left Delhi, we had another full day of sight seeing. My favorite site was Raj Ghat, Gandhi’s Memorial: a simple, burning flame with scattered flower petals surrounding the dark rock, away from the chaos of the city….

Day 3.

Our first few days in Delhi have been spent at the Sehgal Foundation (http://www.smsfoundation.org/). The Sehgal Foundation was founded by a family in Des Moines. Suri Sehgal grew up in India, then came to America to attend Harvard University. Suri would become a successful plant geneticist, earning most of his wealth during the Green Revolution…

Day 2.

Today, those of us new to Delhi got a tour of the city. We visited Qutb Minar, the tallest tower in Delhi, that declared the arrival and rise of Islam in India. School girls with brilliant smiles eagerly crowded me, wanting to touch my skin and hair. Then, we visited Humayun’s Tomb, a tomb of…

Day 1.

We arrived in Delhi shortly after midnight on Sunday morning. Immediately after leaving customs (two men on either side of the doorway, both with guns) the air enveloped us. Damp and heavy, the smell of smoke was the smell of Delhi.  We were herded onto a bus and headed to our first home, the Sehgal…

Leaving home.

I stayed at my parents the night before I left. Mom made my favorite dinner, and entertained friends that came over to say goodbye. She sat on my bed and patiently helped me pack my suitcase. Dad kissed my forehead and hugged me tight before I went to bed. He always seems knows when I…