Archive for May, 2014

Not that I don’t appreciate Indian culture; or that this is any kind of commentary on Indian life. Just what home sick me misses…

-Hot dogs.
-Soft beds.
-Appropriate use of car horns.
-Having only one electric switch to control any given device.
-Not having every conversation following “where are you from” revolve around Obama, Michael Jackson, or Michael Jordan.
-Smooth roads.
-Seeing people that look like they’re from America… and having them actually be American and not from a non-English speaking part of Europe.
-Sanitation workers.
-Hot water at all times of the day (we are in a desert that is 110 degrees… Really?!?!)
-Car horns that do not sound like some form of dying bird.
-Free Wi-Fi.
-Not being solicited every time the vehicle stops. I don’t care how good the discount is…
-All red meat, honestly.
-Being able to download the updates that my phone keeps bothering me about.
-Traffic laws that are enforced.
-Not being asked overly personal questions, like “When did you lose your virginity?” and “How many sexual partners did you have before you met your wife?”
-Wishing I was kidding about the pervious line…
-Food I can eat with a fork.
-My wife and daughter… Even if Little E has been extremely naughty while I have been gone.
-Fishing. Fly fishing of course.
-Water fountains. At least ones that I can drink out of without getting “Dehli-Belly”… (Never drinking bottled water again.)
-Not having to get up at 5:30AM to talk to loved ones.
-The word please.

Of course, this is tongue in cheek. India has even a blast… But I can tell you that I have a new appreciation for some things we take for granted at home…20140523-211412-76452195.jpg
Finding the most American thing in the menu… Chicken wings and a milkshake!

See you stateside in a few days!

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40 Yards From A Wild Indian Tiger

I don’t think this needs anymore words.

India is awesome.

A little dirty; but awesome.

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My contribution to the trip blog…

CEHS 2014 India Study Tour

Today was a great day; despite starting it by locking my self out of my room…

Our main activity for today was visiting the Ajanta Caves. But in the course our day, three themes stood out above all the rest.

Reminders of Home:

On the way to the caves, we discovered the first of two things that we Nebraskans will flock to. While traveling, we stopped at a rural Indian truck stop for a break. As we pulled into the parking lot in this farming community, we sat in awe as we saw…

A tractor.

I can only imagine what the locals thought about a group of tourist piling out of a bus and toward an old dirty tractor. While industrializing rapidly, India still has an agrarian economy. Approximately 65% of India remains rural and reliant on agriculture. Nebraska being an agricultural state, the tractor was a welcome reminder of…

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Day 3: Visiting The Kids

20140515-222155.jpgToday we visited an organization that works with the children of trafficked women for the commercial sex trade. Academically our students are here studying the issue of human trafficking, especially how it relates to Southern Asia…

The place we visited was in the heart of the Mumbai slums red light district. This small school and night center provides what often makes up the only refuge that these children have from the conditions around them. About 60 children gathered to make Macaroni art and bead bracelets with us, from ages 4 to 16. Most had never seen a white person before… Let alone an American.

They laughed and played with us for several hours. When I was not looking, the children would sneak up to rub my cotton socks; as I was the only person from my group wearing them and these children wear sandals… if any shoes at all. They sang local children’s songs and tried to teach us to count in Hindi.

One young boy asked where I was from. When I said Nebraska, he asked “What is that by?” Thinking of the nearest place he might have heard of, even though it is no where close, I said Chicago. Again he looked at me and said “Where?” I broadened my statement and said “the United States.” He looked at me and said “Which continent is that on?”

These kids live with violence and danger on the streets, mothers trapped in human sex trafficking, and the majority have been victims of the most heinous of crimes. Despite this, they laughed and played not unlike any other child I have watched play at home. They were quick with a smile and eager to share India with us.

They got together in a large group and giggled as we danced the hooky-pokie together. Several of the older children to thank us and invite us to come back every year…

They don’t receive many visitors.

When we left the school, our tour took us on a quick walk around the block. As we tried to cross the main intersection to walk down a slum lane, a local cop monitoring traffic stop and would not let us travel down the lane because of the danger to us; even as he let local women and children run by.

The stares that we got from the locals seemed to pierce right through your skin. As we walked back to the bus, I felt as though any of the hundreds of men lining the street could have jumped us at any second. There eyes and their posture made it clear that we were not welcome in their neighborhood. Without a doubt the peril of this place far exceeded any where I had been before. In that moment the immense weight of danger and fear that these children endure everyday came crashing down upon my soul.

As we rode the bus back to the hotel, I pondered how humanity could allow children to live in such conditions and turn a blind eye to their plight. They are laughing, loving kids just like my daughter. When I returned to my room, I did the only thing a rational person could…

I cried.

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India: Arrival and Day 1

Holy crap I am in India…
I don’t have a lot of time to type today, but India has been a very interesting expire nice so far. Mumbai exists in both splendor and squalor side by side. When you first look at the streets, you are almost overcome with the amount of dirtiness, poverty, and run down looking buildings. It made me guilty to think that minutes earlier I had been complaining of being cramped on an airplane, when you see people sleeping in the gutters and medians of the highway; all within blocks of the most beautiful airport I have ever been in.
After a while in the city though, you start to feel as of the land is a dirty wild place, and that despite thousands of years of civilization this land has yet to be tamed.20140514-071729.jpg
In fact, you start to feel Mumbai is lucky that they can keep any small areas clean at all.

Mumbai lives at an exciting pace, a ride down the road proves that. Yesterday we had an Indian supper with a family in their home, and learned about what God means to Hindus.

I wonder what I will learn today…20140514-072045.jpg

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