I’m just on a roll with these song references. Haha. Coming up with a title for each day is so much fun.
Woke up at 7:15am. Walked to breakfast and saw a few people already there. Others were still in the hostels. Breakfast consisted of onion uttapan (spelling?) – comparable to pancakes, 2 types of curry, bread with jam, and tea. A guy from Canada came over to our table and told us to take his peanut butter and Nutella because he’s leaving soon. He was here for 3 weeks studying global public health I think? They had communication with Manipal students before coming to work on a project together.
Had our very first class at 9:30am. Dr. Raj taught a general intro to global public health. Although he seemed to emphasize on the numerous field trips, he did encourage us to look at supplementary material on Carmen about case studies. They seem very interesting like the prevalence of cataracts in India. I remember we watched a video about this issue in LeaderShape, but I forgot what it was called or even how to find it 😦
– Tried googling and found someone’s personal journal on LeaderShape. This is what she wrote about the video: “We watched a movie about a doctor in India who made cataract surgery easily accessible to the everyman. He made his own hospital and figured out a way to mass produce the lenses which are placed into the eye after the cataract is removed. They cost hundreds of dollars if bought from the medical industry, but they are produced in this clinic for a few dollars each. These accomplishments were born from the vision of a single man. He found the energy to pursue his vision and make it a reality” Possible final project topic? What an inspiring story. I need to find out more about it.
The wifi doesn’t work in the classroom either, so that’s a bummer. Dr. Raj said it’s because we’re right next to the exam room where students take computerized standardized tests. The room is extremely cold, which feels nice… but I also don’t have a sweater for when it gets too cold. I thought the bathroom here would offer toilet paper, but nope. I learned to bring a stash of toilet paper everywhere I go.
Afterwards, we visited the campus store. Looked like one you would see on High Street with branded clothes, school supplies and some food. I might consider buying something with Manipal U on it – nice momento. Then I joined Dr. Raj and Lindsey to ask how to exchange US dollars to rupees. Raj went to the public health office to ask someone questions. I saw SAS on Raj’s bag and asked him where he went. It was a biostatistics conference in Canada. He asked why. I told him through Buckeye Leadership Fellows, we have challenges to solve a real world problem so last semester we worked with SAS to smooth their merging of 5 departments and improve communication. We took a trip down to Cary, NC to visit the company. He said they always sponsor these types of conferences. His favorite program is JMP, which is produced by SAS. He said he uses it all the time because he is a professor in biostatistics. I love when the world connects in this crazy coherent way. We went to a bank, but I needed my passport so I planned to go later.
Second class of the day was on Indian culture and society at 2pm. I am specifically intrigued by the history of civilization, languages, and religions of India. Here’s a list of quick facts that are interesting:
1. The British colonized India because of the East India Company trade. Mahatma Gandhi was the leading force in promoting Indian dependence from the British. Later, the region of India was separated into mainland India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan. Muslims predominate in Pakistan and Hindus in India. West and East Pakistan were different because the East Pakistanis were Bengali so East Pakistan changed its name to Bangladesh. The part of India touching Bangladesh is called West Bengali.
2. Religion breakdown in India: Hinduism (82%), Islam (12%), Christianity (2%), Sikhism (2%) Buddhism (1%), Jainism (<1%), Zoroastrianism (<1%).
3. There are many languages spoken in India. The national language is Hindi, but others are based on region.
4. Arranged marriages are still prevalent, but to a lesser extent.
5. Widows are not allowed to remarry.
6. Symbolism of marriage: Red along hair part, bindi, necklace, toe ring. Traditionally, there was no such thing as a ring ceremony, but it’s becoming increasingly popular because of globalization.
At tea time, crunchy fried veggies with chai tea was served. After, I walked to the supermarket with a large group. People bought colorful rugs, Tide bars to hand-wash clothes with, and mangoes. I also took a selfie with a cow!
I walked to the bank with Sesen, passport in hand. We had a nice chat about heritage, family, and boys. Some girls stopped us and wanted to touch Sesen’s hair on the way there. Sesen and I thought the bank teller was cute. He answered some of our money questions, but then left us to fend for ourselves in exchanging. I ended up exchanging $240, which is approximately 13,000 rupees. Sesen realized she left her water bottle at the bank when we were about to enter the hostel, so we walked back. The sky was a nice twilight pink color. We got back and went straight to Sahanna’s room because we were told that the IT guy would come to fix the wifi, but he never showed up.
Dinner: spicy chicken, yogurt, barley rice, veggies (so good!) and curry. Thought about staying to play cards (sidenote: card playing can be seen as gambling so heed caution when playing in public), but needed to come back to the room to wash clothes and didn’t even get to it. I had good connection to the internet all night (rarity), so I spent the time blogging, writing emails, and facebooking until 1am.