This and that…

I can’t believe this is only the second time this week that I’m writing. I guess that must mean something good. It rained a lot on Monday. So much so that when I waslked into my flat after work there was a small puddle at my door (on the inside). The interesting scent was slightly stronger, and after killing my second (out of four) huge water bugs, I wasn’t freaked out anymore and I was pretty exhausted. This doesn’t count the batch of smaller roaches as well. Yes, my place was a little icky. Tuesday could only bring a better day.

Work picked up this week. I’m starting to visit different centers, some mine, some not. I’m also meeting most of the teachers I’ll be working with for center reviews. It’s interesting hearing people’s strengths and weaknesses before you work with them. Everyone is really nice though. Meetings are of a different fashion here as well. We usually grab a bunch of big cushion/pillow type things and sit in the only smaller room or on the other side of the office on the floor. It’s definitely a different way to conduct the meeting. We also are all not wearing any shoes. I must say that walking around barefoot is one of my favorite things.

Visiting the centers is also a great experience. Today I observed a demo lesson. I was so impressed with this teacher. She’s never taught on her own before, she’d been volunteering and observing in this classroom for about a week. I wish some folks that I went to undergrad with could have seen this. The kids were also great. This was the first time that I walked into the community as well. There are things called community visits, which this wasn’t, but I went in with the teacher to go pick up the kids from within the community. The approached us (I was on the back of the teacher’s moped) with smiles, handshakes, and yelling the words, “good afternoon didi.” Many of them asked me my name, some in complete sentences, some broken; either way their comprehension of English was impressive.

Flip flopping back and forth this week – Tuesday I went out with Rajan, his girlfriend, Neha, and their friend Atul. We celebrated that they were finished taking the CAT (equivalent to our GMAT). It was really nice to see a new part of town, hang out with people in Pune, and to enter yet someone else’s home and life.

My friends in Bombay spoke about me with their friends and about capoeira, and apparently capoeira will begin in Pune, the second capoeira class ever in India, on Sunday. I got 3 phone calls yesterday from friends of friends in Bombay who would like to know when capoeira will begin in Pune. I’m dying to play, so I’m excited that two of them found a spot that we can play.

Yet some more news. I’ve been invited to two weddings. The first one I was invited to is over Christmas. I will take unpaid leave to go. It’s in Punjab; my friend Gurmeet’s brother is getting married. It will be great not to spend Christmas time (even though it’ll be nothing like Christmas) alone. The other one I will miss, even though it’s in Pune, but it’s next Tuesday during the day.

Last but not least, and definitely most important, is that I cleaned this flat more than I’ve cleaned any other living space of mine in my entire life. I swept, mopped, scrubbed, cleansed, unpacked a bit, even decorated (just because I don’t plan on staying here doesn’t mean I shouldn’t feel a bit at home while I am here. It was the best part of my night when I walked in and didn’t have to smush any bugs.

I’m also super interested in telling some other stories about my travels, especially from the point of view of a foreign woman in India, or outside my home country; more to come this soon hopefully. If I forget, someone should definitely write a comment or email reminding me. I would also like to tell the stories of some of my new friends, to help all my US friends understand about my India friends; I talk so much about my US friends, I thought it would be nice to do the reverse as well.

Tomorrow is my first working Saturday; this weekend is also the first weekend (since my first weekend) that I will not go to Bombay. I’m sad about this, but interested in seeing what I will do here as well.

Happy Friday.

P.S. I’m finally showing my apartment! Another visual into my life.

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