Beginnings

We’ve been without internet for a while here at the Chirag office so blogs have fallen to the wayside. Looking back on how much I haven’t written about, I don’t even know where to start!

The first few weeks, including the travel from Delhi were hectic to say the least- 

Here we are waiting in the bus stationImage

Through convincing conversations and persistence, we (or rather Jason) secured tickets onto one of the nearby buses. 

First thoughts on Chirag after the bus ride: breathtaking, breezy, and beautiful. We were definitely in a good place. The view of the mountains off the side of the Chirag dorms was honestly enough to erase any discomforts we may have had from the ride there. IMG_0051

 

In terms of the most recent happeninings, just moved back into the Chirag dorms after an eight day long homestay in one of the nearby villages that was started a few days into the internship, and I honestly miss it already. Getting to know the family, and learning from them about what life is actually like in the hills outside of researching the numbers and stats about the problems of the region, it adds so much more, rounds out my perspective. I was given the opportunity to help with making rotis, separating seeds from stalks for fodder, harvesting apricots and plums (pics below!), and learning the language.

Here’s all of us helping my homestay family with different tasks:
IMG_0131

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Being unable to actually communicate fluently with the family emphasized something to me that we tend to forget- we’re really so similar, despite what may seem different from the outside. Our emotions, needs, so much of who we are. You can see kindness in someone’s eyes and that’s that- language isn’t and shouldn’t be a barrier to that. I was lucky enough to be placed in the homestay with a fellow intern who could speak Hindi- she made the experience so much of what it was and I really appreciated everything she did and helped me learn (Thanks Shagun!).

I think what’s really surprised me the most about this internship was how quickly things became natural/routine. You think, we’re in the mountains of a different country with their own culture and way of life- how long will it take to understand this new kind of flow? Kind people, fantastic climate, great food, and a welcoming community can pretty quickly ease a wide eyed newcomer. 

 Until the next post, 

-Shobana

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About rshobana

Class of 2015. Majoring in Biological Basis of Behavior. Intern at Chirag in Simayal, Uttarakhand in summer 2013.