Where am I?

After three movies, some concentrated reading, and a few hours of stolen sleep – I’m confident I understand what it feels like to be a sleep deprived Penn undergrad again! While I’m far too old to pull all nighters I somehow always manage to make this one work. India here I come!

From 35,000 feet above the ground, I’ve been chasing sunrises and starlight for 20+ hours. Meals appear to arrive every 15 minutes and the Dubai airport is a complete blur with sparkling duty free and a mere 30 minutes of free internet. Physically and mentally I am very much caught between destinations and my mind wanders between the cold of the east coast and the Christmas presents I didn’t have time to buy, to the promise of tropical air and hot dosa I can’t wait to sink my teeth into.

Upon landing and taking my first step from airplane to sky walk my internal fog clears and the physical one begins. The rush of humidity seeps through the cracks in the walkway and I breathe in the strong smoky smell of Mumbai winter. Here at last.

Welcomed by a steady stream of honking horns, flashing lights in all shapes and sizes, and the stop and go stutter of highway traffic – I am very much at home.

I will be traveling in India for the next few weeks visiting CASI partners, meeting with former CASI students, and shooting a little video. I’m going to jump on the CASI Student Programs blog bullock cart and subject myself to the same requirements as our students (yikes, internet can be hard to come by while traveling even with multiple connected devices)! I’m also hoping that my posts will inspire some CASI alumni to write in this winter holiday season (ahem, we are all waiting!).

Here I go!

Aparna Wilder
Associate Director, CASI Student Programs and Outreach

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About Aparna Wilder

Associate Director, CASI Student Programs and Outreach After graduating from Penn, Aparna spent six years living and working in India. She volunteered with Indicorps and started her own production house, global rickshaw, that makes short films in collaboration with NGOs and non-profit organizations. Aparna is a TED India Fellow and holds an MPA from Columbia University.