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Day 1: Arriving in Indai

India is like nothing I have experienced. Stephen met me at the airport outside the gate. Meaning I had to walk outside like I was looking for a taxi. He was hidden in a mass of people holding an 8x11 white sheet of paper that read, "Global Volunteers". I had to walk the passage several times before I found him. This nice policeman kept encouraging me in broken English, "Try again. Try again. Look on the left side this time. Look behind the first row of people. Look on the right side again. Maybe you try again --slower this time." Look, I'm not going to lie, I felt a little anxiety. I had a smile from ear to ear when I finally saw that sign. I had flown in through the international terminal. We walked over to the domestic terminal to pick up another volunteer. She had a connection through Mumbai (Bombay). We had to wait for about 2 and a half hours. Since there weren't any places to sit, and there were masses of people, we just stood searching for a foreigner to walk out the doors and through the passageway of taxi drivers and family members. When she finally arrived, her smile was contagious. Greta is her name and this is her second Global Volunteers trip. Her first was in Cuba. She's a real spit-fire.

Stephen, Greta, and I piled into a brand new car for our drive back to the guest house. Ok, I have written about Cairo traffic. I had no idea how crazy driving and traffic could be until now. Not only are there no lanes used here, but there is also a mixture of human beings and animals weaving in and out of the roads as well.

The guest house is exactly like what I saw on the website for Global Volunteers except it is really hot inside. None of the windows open except for the kitchen, which has no screen. There are fans in the main areas and an air-conditioner in each bedroom. It seems the rooms should be just perfect temperature-wise; however, we turn them off the poorly working air-conditioners when we leave and it takes a very long time for the room to cool down. Stephen asked if we would like to share a room. Greta was super kind and said, "No problem. Whatever." I said, "No thank you. I would really like my own room." Having my own room seems selfish, but I want to be able to wake up when I want to wake up, get in my workouts in my "hotbox" without bothering anyone, and not worry that I'm keeping anyone up.

Greta and I walked around our neighborhood after settling in. We went next door to change dollars for Greta, found our first cows in the street, and admired the mixture of Hindu and Christian statues and posters everywhere.

Stephen had to go and pick up Devra from a hotel. She had arrived the night before. The three of us had the entire guest house to ourselves that night. Stephen lives across the street with his family and there is no security guard as mentioned on the Global Volunteers' website. Devra got her own room, too. All three of us are on the second floor. Greta and I share a bathroom. Devra has one in her room.

Boy, did we have some laughs! Devra's door didn't shut so Greta, the Physics teacher, fixed it with a hanger. Greta doesn't have a light in her room, so we went through the rooms in the house looking for lightbulbs. We didn't find one. Devra brought the wrong adapter, so we tried to get another country one to work. FYI the adapter for Europe will work.

Posted by venisha 11:34 Archived in India

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