Time just really gets away from me here. I can't believe I have been here for 15 days! I decided I wanted to catch up because so many things happen here that it can get to be overwhelming to not post more.
So to wrap up my first week here, I received my luggage after numerous phone calls, both from me and then from my mom. It was a big ordeal but they finally arrived 5 days after I got here. The first week was crazy but it was also really hard because I just didn't feel settled at all. I know it's just stuff, but it's my stuff. Friday night we had a mexican night at the flat with some people over from work. It was really good food and a nice time to hang out with people from work. After everyone left I stayed up extra late and put all my pictures up in the room. There is nothing like pictures and letters from the ones that love me most to make me feel at home! Saturday I went to see Les Miserables at the mall (what a western thing to say!) After that we shopped some and just hung around at our flat for most of the night. On Sunday we went to KCF and then lunch. We went to the city book fair after lunch. I was thinking it would be a small event that would be fun to walk around and see things. I was totally wrong and it was really huge. There were tons of auditorium size buildings that housed so many books! It was honestly very overwhelming and way too many people. They really like their books though so thats good to know!
This past week at work was very busy as well. We had someone leaving the office so we had a farewell and other things that had to do with that. I was able to do some work which was nice to feel like I was accomplishing something. I was also able to visit an aftercare home (one of my favorites at that). In addition, I was able to go visit two other NGO's. One I had been to before called Freeset and the other called Destiny. They both employ women who have gotten out of the life and now work for fare wages and creating something. This was also the week for meetings. Our department has more meetings than any other department. They are all necessary, but they are also all long. It can be hard for me to sit for that long, though I suppose that's a discipline I can learn.
I was able to buy a Saree this week, as I am going to a co workers wedding reception and that is traditionally what one wears. It was on my list of things that I wanted to do while here (buy a saree that is) and I'm so excited to get the opportunity so soon! The whole office is going so it should be a really fun time!!
This past weekend was the most packed weekend so far and so much fun but also super tiring! On Saturday I went with one of my roomies on an all day shopping adventure. We wanted to get some things for our respective rooms and just wanted to get it done as efficiently as possible. Thankfully we were both able to find what we wanted. I bought a mattress. Yes I'm aware it sounds sort of extreme but I haven't been sleeping well and that was my option. They aren't nearly as expensive, I will say that. I was also able to get some things for my room to make it a bit more homey like a comforter and a floor mat. I'm really pleased with it and how its turned out. There definitely wasn't anything wrong with it before, but I'm glad I can be happy about coming home to it.
On Saturday night the most amazing thing happened. I went to dinner with two other interns and we went in search of this mexican restaurant called Amigos. I had no high hopes about this place being good but let me tell you, it really was! I love mexican food, and I was already really missing it, and this place was delicious. It was expensive in terms of how much food usually costs here but not for US standard. It has definitely been my most exciting find of the city thus far.
I decided about a week ago to run a half marathon. Lets just say that wasn't the smartest decision ever, but it gave the utmost crazy experience of the city thus far. First of all, there were ton of people there running which was very cool to see that even this city has a running 'group'. There were also a ton of people who came out just to see what all the people were lining up for. There were no rules and anyone was allowed to come in the starting corrals which was weird.
We started a little bit late because of a friend who was running late and there was also a group doing a 4k. When we did start running, there were no signs and no direction as to which route was which. So of course we ended up on the 4k route and almost finished it before we realized. We turned around and ran about 3k back to where the half turned off and at this point none of the streets were closed, though I highly doubt they were closed to begin with. It was the more unorganized thing ever, in true Indian style. It was me and one of my roomies and then we met up with two other Indians who did the same thing and we ended up staying a foursome and running through the city like crazy people. I thought people stared when I was just walking down the street, but I had no idea the extent of stares that could happen. We looked like we were on the amazing race or something. Besides the lack of running training whatsoever, we were running on sidewalks and stopping on almost every corner to ask for directions. Since everyone knew they saw runners they were mostly helpful. All I will say is that I finished and I can barely walk. No big deal.
Moral of the story is that I ran a half marathon in India...who gets to say that?
After the half marathon, we decided to go eat at Amigos again, which I totally didn't mind. Following that I was able to come back home and take a 3 hour nap that was much needed!
On Monday we had a celebration day for all the victories and accomplishments of the 2012 year. It was such a great day. We went to a co workers house and were able to spend time with the staff and eat together. In addition to that we got to see some brick kilns in the small town and the people working there. Then we went to the river, followed by going to a park where there happened to be some rides like you would have at a fair. It was such a fun time because we got to ride a small roller coaster and then a tilt-o-whirl. I can't even say the last time I rode a ride was!
That is a brief update of my life up until now. Here's to my 4 day work week!