July 1, 2011

Welcome to India: Sleepless Nights & Sweaty Days!

I'm finally here! After much planning, packing (and re-packing), and copious amounts of nervous, anxious, excited anticipation - I'm finally IN India! I arrived Friday morning around midnight. We came straight to the campus and went to sleep around 2. "Sleep" really consisted of waking up about 6 or 7 times between 2am and 6am - then finally giving up at 6:30am. My roommate, Bethany, and I both laid in bed - sweating in the early morning heat of about 92 degrees F. I took a bath from the bucket in our bathroom, which I really prefer to a shower.

Meals here are very different than meals at home in the KCC! This morning we walked into breakfast at 7:30. Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8:30 every day and in each of the halls. The students are only allowed to eat in their own halls. Breakfast this morning was a very mild noodle (ramen-like almost) dish. And that is it! There are no "options." Of course, you have the option of not eating there if you prefer. It's great. It was served in this HUGE pot - bigger than any pot I'd ever seen. For lunch, the rice was served in this massive dish too. Dinner and lunch are similar - rice and different types of curry. So far, I am not a fan of the curdled milk products. I have tried them each time, but I just don't have the taste buds for it, yet.

For our campus tour and for dinner we sat with some new Indian friends who taught us how to eat Indian food with our hands! It was great! I may never use a spoon again!

We took a tour of the campus this afternoon after the heat of the day had passed. Madras Christian College is gorgeous! There are trees everywhere and they really isolate each area and building from one to another. It's not wide open like at Bridgewater. There are dirt paths that can take you to each building. Walking to the Social Work building the first few times will be an adventure in itself!

There are deer everywhere. Deer who aren't really frightened of you either. A new Indian friend mentioned that she had a deer come up to her window each night at 10pm and she would feed them!

One animal I was not expecting to see - BATS! They are not little either! They are about the same size as the black birds here. As dusk was approaching, they were flying all over the place. Many of them had gathered in the trees above and were tittering away at each other. Notice the bat in the lower left hand corner, just sayin'. Not to mention all the little black bundles in the trees - yeah, those are bats.

This is our good-looking group after getting caught in some rain during our tour. It was so refreshing!

Tomorrow's agenda? Shopping! (And hopefully picking my courses!)

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