Chale Chalo

Unbelievably, my time in India appears to be coming to an end. Or at least that’s what the calendar alert on my phone is telling me. When I think about what I’ve done, it seems like quite a lot and yet very little.

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Look, just indulge me.

A huge part of my experience in India has been music and film. Not only are films a great way to kill time on a slow weekend (they’re like four hours long), they have also been a way for me to connect with others. (My “if Shah Rukh Khan had been cast in Lagaan” impression kills, you guys.) Since there are too many songs for me to share one by one, let me just aggregate them here for you–and for me. (Full disclosure: I made A LOT of mix CDs in my youth.)

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In the Field

Amman, Jordan, was a little bit weird in terms of working with an international organization. Jordan is pretty small (the size of Indiana) and Amman is a capital city of about four million people (teeny tiny compared to Delhi but what can you do?). I was still working with students and teachers in a major metropolitan area; I certainly wasn’t in the middle of nowhere. I was much closer to “the field,” however, than anyone working in Denver or London or Geneva.

In one of my positions in Jordan, my supervisor and I made jokes about the field all the time, from both sides. If someone attended a meeting with a big UN organization wearing cargos and Tevas (while everyone else was dressed professionally) and used the excuse, “Sorry, I’ve been in the field for the last six months,” we chuckled. Not in the field anymore, bud! Meanwhile, if international administration handed down a decision without checking in with us, we laughed it off with “Can’t believe they didn’t consult us! Don’t they know we’re in the field?!”

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Adventures in Networking

“Are you any good at networking?” the project officer asked.

“Not…really,” I admitted.

“Do you know anything about M&E?” she continued.

“A…little?” I replied, regretting not taking Dr. Thapa’s M&E class in favor of all those human rights courses. (P.S. #educationisahumanright #migrationisahumanright #dueprocessisahumanright)

“What about current uses of technology in the education development field?”

“Some!” I practically shouted, in an effort to seem knowledgeable about something. “ICT4D! Apps! Online higher education initiatives!”

She nodded. Feeling supremely confident, I headed out to the opening of the Vodafone Mobile for Good Awards 2016.

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Hello. It’s me.

Well, I suppose now that I’ve been in Delhi for ten days, it’s time to write this first blog post. I am not the world’s most enthusiastic blogger, but I’ll do my best, and hopefully you won’t sense my reluctance coming through!

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Hanuman overlooks a traffic circle in Karol Bagh

After an exhausting spring semester, one summer class, and two whirlwind weeks at home in Wisconsin, I landed in Delhi at 9:30 am on Friday, July 15. I realized while waiting anxiously to pick up my luggage at baggage claim (I’ve never had a luggage mishap in all my years of traveling so I just know a GIANT ONE is on the horizon) that I’d been so focused on getting to India—getting the internship, getting the visa, getting on the plane—that I hadn’t considered the rest of the three months I was spending here.

Three months in Delhi. So little time, compared to the three years I was in Amman, but so much more time than I’d been considering when I stepped on the plane.

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