India hots up

It’s the start of week 4 in India with Raleigh.  The venturers arrived this afternoon, and the craziness metre in logistics land is continuing to crank up.

I’d love to write you a concise, witty post containing my observations and experiences from the last 3 weeks, but I feel like it’s been so overwhelming and I’ve had so little time to myself to process anything, that any attempt to begin at the beginning might result in my brain exploding all over the computer.  So instead, here’s a few snippets in no particular order. In the last 3 weeks there’s been…

…the forming of a tight-knit staff team and new friendships.  Ordering copious amounts of food from a wholesaler who at that stage knew more about my stores than I did.  Elephants stopping traffic in down-town Mysore.  Amazing indian food.  Less amazing indian gut illness.  Feeling extremely unfit while climbing the 1000 steps up Chumundi Hill.  Working my way slowly up to being the person who has the answers to everyone’s questions about everything.  Learning comms skills and answering the phone for the first time with ‘Hello unknown callsign, this is zero, comms check, over.’  Working out how much bamboo to order for an environmental project group to build their camp.  Establishing that the door mat liquidation sale guy is a handy landmark on the way into town.  The cow calmly lying in the middle of a 6-way intersection as a bus (and the rest of the crazy traffic) tried to corner around it.  The great mix of tiny shops in town selling everything from old newspaper to designer shoes.  Relaxing by the pool at the Lalith Mahal (summer palace), and the way it glowed as the sun set.  High security supermarket shopping.  The joy of a pizza after 3 weeks of curry.  Having a guess at how to wear a sari for an evening of trivia, bad dancing and general hilarity.  The building sense of panic as venturer arrival approached.  Glorious sunsets.  Sweat, sunburn and a new appreciation of a good bucket shower.  The clicking sound of the palm trees and the jangling of the cow’s bells around fieldbase.  Magi the cow sticking her head curiously into logs.  Little Cow with a bucket stuck on his head.  The morning throat-clearing ritual.  The guy who walks unhurriedly past the gate at about 6pm every evening behind his cart drawn by two yoked cows.  Gorgeous indian children with huge smiles.  Trekking soon after dawn past neatly plowed and planted fields.  The women washing their clothes laughing incredulously at us jumping into their river.  Evening volleyball games.    Living in the giggle tent.  Sleeping in the mosquito net cocoon…

…which is where I’m going to head now.  First full day of venturer induction and training kicks off bright and early tomorrow.

Hope you’re all well.

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2 thoughts on “India hots up

  1. Mum

    Hello there Anna,
    I’m so gob-smacked by everything you’ve seen and done, I’m lost for words!! which is something for me!! I hope Magi can make some useful suggestions when she puts her head in to see you and as for ordering quantities of bamboo – the mind boggles! I hope your stomach has developed a cast iron constitution now.

    Good luck with the venturers’ induction/training, looking forward to reading about that on the Raleigh blog.

    I see there is a Dutch venturer, so I’ll be able to polish up my Dutch as long as the messages are fairly short.

    Lots of love,

  2. Rachele

    Loving your blog! I’m so pleased you’re having such a busy, different, inspiring and challenging time. Couldn’t wish for anymore for you.

    An update on my wellness – I’m having a boy! I’m just over halfway (feels like it’s taking forever) and had the first definite baby roll this morning. It feels like I have an alien in my stomach. It’s both freaky and amazing.

    Also, I’m putting on weight like no bodies business, if it wasn’t unhealthy for the baby I’d order some of your stomach illness to try and quell the expansion.

    If you need any treats from home (food, beauty, clothing) just drop me a line, more than happy to indulge a whim.


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