Life Outside of Delhi

Went for a walk one night and was followed by a pack of goats. This is the opposite of a problem.
Went for a walk one night and was followed by a pack of goats. This is the opposite of a problem.

One of the many things that attracted me to do a program with SIT is the excursions planned with every program. Before I left it was hard to explain to people that even though my program is based in Delhi, I would only be spending about half of my time there. The rest of the time I would be traveling to various parts of India.

One day we went to a Buddhist religious site. There we met a tourist group from Sri Lanka. They were separating flower petals to use as an offering and let us help them.
One day we went to a Buddhist religious site. There we met a tourist group from Sri Lanka. They were separating flower petals to use as an offering and let us help them.

My first trip outside of Delhi happened this week. I was very excited to get out of the city for a while. I am one who loves living in big cities but it is also nice to see the stars and breathe some less polluted air.

During this excursion we had a lot of really cool opportunities. The week before our excursion we learned about how the healthcare system in India is set up. This excursion allowed us to witness it. I loved that were able to take our learning outside of the classroom. Throughout the week we visited different hospitals, talked with a variety of doctors, and had many question and answer sessions with women in various villages about what healthcare means to them. I learned a lot of different things during this week and I am excited for our next excursion. Unfortunately I was unable to get many pictures during the excursion simply because I felt it rude to photograph people when they are in the vulnerable state of receiving health care. I will, however, attach a few photos of other activities that we did during the excursion.

The first day we arrived a local school was celebrating their second anniversary. There was a large show where the kids performed different dances, most of them relating to an important political issue. This dance was in protest to child marriages.
The first day we arrived a local school was celebrating their second anniversary. There was a large show where the kids performed different dances, most of them relating to an important political issue. This dance was in protest to child marriages.

An Introduction to India

Pants that are almost taller than me!
Pants that are almost taller than me!

India has been my new home for less than a week now and I am already falling in love with it. Most of my first week was spent in orientation. One of the things we did during orientation week was going out and buying traditional Indian clothes. In Delhi most women in their 20’s wear western style clothes; however that is not the case in the rural areas. Our teachers recommended that we have at least one Indian outfit to wear when we travel out of Delhi. This was much easier said than done. Certain styles of shirts could only be worn with a certain styles of pants. In a store full of unfamiliar clothing it was difficult to figure out what worked. Luckily we had our female teachers with us to help. I bought a shirt that came with pants and a scarf. I figured this would be the easiest and safest way to go. I am still getting used to wearing the pants because they are the length of my full body!

Traffic jam
Traffic jam

That night we traveled back on the metro and then took rickshaws to our program center. We were about half way back when we hit a huge traffic jam. We were on a divided road but somehow traffic started to travel the same direction on both sides. This obviously brought some major backups. Eventually some men got out of their cars and started directing the traffic. I am so thankful for these everyday heroes! It took a while for us to get through but thankfully everyone in my group got back without any injuries. Every day here is an adventure waiting to happen. It is impossible to be bored in a city of 17.8 million people!

Rickshaw rides!
Rickshaw rides!