Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 2

Wifi has been a bit of an issue, so here is my slightly belated week two in Delhi!

Last week I found a place to stay for (I believe) the rest of the time I'll be in India. I am staying in an area called Jangpura, only about 7 min (by bicycle rickshaw) away from where I am working. It is a really cool place, and I think the universe knew what it was doing when it put me there, because I am staying with three super great human rights lawyers, one has even started her own NGO that works with maternal health rights. I am learning so much and meeting so many interesting people everyday, as every time I walk in the door there is a new person sitting on the terrace.

My research project is also coming along quite well, as I am helping Shakti Shalini apply for different grants and awards, which has given me the opportunity to examine their funding sources and learn how they network with other organizations pertaining to women's rights. I am also working with my friend Sakshi on the community project I mentioned earlier, and we are currently attempting to get a sex ratio of the community, before we begin our workshops with some of the women. It is quite tedious and slow moving, a fact that is exacerbated by the 100+ degree weather. However, I am still excited and hopeful that we will be able to establish a women's group in the community by the end of our time here.

I have also contacted a second NGO that I will now be volunteering at, in addition to Shakti Shalini. It is called CREA, and is a feminist human rights organization that focuses on fostering feminist leadership in young girls and women-run organizations. CREA has much more of an international focus, as it obtains it's literature (and I believe funding?) globally, and participates in international exchange programs. This will be an excellent comparison to Shakti Shalini, and will allow me to examine the differences in goals, methodologies, perspectives, funding, etc. between a local and international women's rights NGO.

One last (slightly hilarious and extremely embarrassing) tidbit. This morning, I went to take a shower in a different bathroom than I normally do, but didn't notice until it was too late that the door actually didn't have a handle. I then called everybody in the house's name for about 15 minutes, but nobody heard me. At this point I began leaning out the window, wondering if I was going to have to scale the wall in order to get out of the bathroom (the place I am staying is a rooftop this idea was a tad bit terrifying). Apparently multiple neighbors had been hearing me yelling for a while then, so as i got further out the window, an old lady with a broom below me got more and more frantic. I'm pretty sure she thought I was planning on jumping out the window, so she was waving and yelling and pretty much freaking out. She was then joined by multiple other old ladies, and I was unable to pacify them, as I don't really speak any Hindi. I was attempting to calm everyone down and explain that I was stuck, when finally the neighbor stuck her head out the window and understood what I was saying. It took another 10 minutes, and then finally a group of large men came, broke the first lock, and opened the second door. I'm pretty sure my life is turning into a sitcom....but at least my new lawyer friends will have a good story to tell at their next party....*simultaneously laughs, cries, and and sighs*

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear about your first experiences! I love the bathroom story (and that it ended well)! It sounds like you are off to a really great start. I look forward to hear about your research!