Tuesday, July 1, 2014

First Week!

WOW India. I didn't think I would ever say I'm so lucky to be living in a slum. This is real India right here - no Western clothing, foods, or music here. Only chowpatis, roti, salwar kameezes, and the Azhan for fajr. This place is the Hazrat Basti Nizamuddin, a slum on the outskirts of Nizamuddin West, filled primarily with Muslims but also containing Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians. A place of questionable smells, the constant melody of motorcycle horns, and lots of people scattered in the streets. Constant heat and humidity, even in the middle of the night, a sacred ground of spirtuality and humility - welcome to the Basti. No, welcome to India.

I'm working at an NGO called the Hope Project, inspired not-too-long-ago by a name named Inayat Khan, a disciple of the Sufi Order, a musician, a Unitarian, and surprisingly, a husband to an American woman. This place was founded near his burial site in order to continue his Unitarian beliefs and promote unity through music. Although the Hope Project in this Basti does not work too much with music these days. Their primary focus has been providing work, education, and health care for the people of the Basti and surrounding areas. I'm going to be working in the Inayat Hazrat Khan clinic, probably in medicine dispensing. Also, I plan to help out anywhere I am needed, whether it be with computer classes, babysitting at the creche, or teaching when school starts next week. I still need to come up with some sort of survey and research design, which I will mull over this weekend. For now, I'm adjusting to India and waiting for that inevitable moment when I will eat the wrong foods :D

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear from you in your first week! It sounds like you are going to have your hands full. I'm excited to hear more about the Hope Project and what your role there will be!