I made it! I got in on Saturday afternoon, all in one piece (including my luggage). It has been pretty exhausting—trying to get used to the time zone, the humidity, all the new sounds and smells...it still hasn't quite hit me yet that I'm here. I registered for a yoga class this morning (6 days a week from 6-7am! I've been up at 4am everyday, so it will be nice to have something to do), and lying there with my toes touching the ground behind my head, I repeated to myself, “I am in India, practicing yoga. I am practicing yoga in India.”
I don't know what I should say, there is already so much. Here is some general information: there are 12 students in all, living in 3 houses in Lawson's Bay Colony. I have my own room (and my own bathroom, er, hole in the floor and showerhead) in the Program House, where all our meals are taken. There are wonderful Indian people taking care of us: Durga, Lova, Suria, Mariah, Sudha, Karuna, Radia Lakshmi, and K.P. are just a few.
Everything seems eventful: harrowing experiences in rickshaws (I decided they need to invent a rickshaw racing video game called India 500, but more on this later), Krishna temple bells at 5am, monkeys tied to bus stops, cows and water buffalo in the middle of the road, and some more unpleasant things, but I'm sure it will seem very normal soon. Because my brain is constantly processing new experiences, the 4 ½ days I have been here seem much longer—not in a bad way, but I'm learning a lot in a short amount of time. A few lessons:
Always be aware: be aware of where you're stepping, be aware of cars/bikes/rickshaws/motorbikes/buses that may think it's ok to run you over.
Be grateful for hand sanitizer.
Learn where the A.C. is, and go there if you are sick/sad: Church, the mall, the movie theater, the van.
There is no rule of what head bobbles mean. Yes, no, I don't know, you're an idiot, good job, I love it, I hate it, it doesn't matter—all are head bobbles. Go with it.
Smile. Strangers are constantly taking pictures of you, and you want to look happy.
If there is anything specific you want to know, comment on here or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will include those in my posts. I don't know what is interesting to hear about...I'm still a bit overwhelmed (“underwhelmed” is not included in the Telugu-English dictionary). Love and miss you all!
P.S. It is 12 ½ hours later here than in Utah, 10 ½ later than Boston, fyi. So it's 11:47am now. We're resting our brains from our first Telugu Lesson.
P.P.S. I'm bringing Punjabi dresses into style this summer in the States.
P.P.P.S. The picture is Megan and I on a playground at a park on a top of a big hill. I can't remember the name right now. It was the most humid day, I don't think we were dry at any time. Most of the playground equipment they had would be banned from the U.S. because of liability, as Megan is clearly demonstrating.