Day 18 (Tuesday, May 20): Lizards are Friends, not Food

(Name the movie!)

Woke up to the alarm at 7:15am. I remember shivering in my sleep, so I got up to turn off the AC in the middle of the night. Usual morning routine, but had some time to write in the journal before breakfast around 8:45am: roti-like bread and tea. Lauren went to buy some juice and graciously offered to get me some too. She got Tropicana guava, and Adam suggested I should get orange, which turned out to be a good choice. I made a mental note to buy something for Lauren next time. The juice hit the spot. That morning, I decided I would make orange juice a part of my daily morning breakfast routine.

We boarded the bus around 9:30am to travel to the Hirebettu tribal village.

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We toured their primary healthcare center and met the medical officer. She showed us around the small place, but it was difficult for the whole group to gather closely in one place to listen.

Then, we took the bus to the village community. We visited three families and heard about their lives and health conditions (esophageal cancer, diabetes/hypertension, history of fever – malaria watch). The weather was extremely hot and humid, which made it difficult to pay attention.

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Returned to Manipal and cooled down in room. I was trying to update my journal, but my eyes fell heavy so I succumbed to sleep at the foot of my bed. I set an alarm for 1:15pm because Lauren and Kelsey planned to go eat at 1:20pm. I woke up in time, but felt super tired. Lunch: barley rice, yellow rice, bean curry, my fave curry and jelly noodles in coconut milk dessert.

Class with Dr. Raj at 2pm: Unintentional injuries. He gave us his USB to download 250 pictures he took on his camera.

IMG_1077After class, we took an excursion to visit the ASARE center on the outskirts of the Manipal campus. It is a home for mentally challenged citizens of all ages. Their mission is to teach them how to be as independent as they can by making their beds, cleaning their room, following a structured day, and making arts and crafts.

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There was a boy with exceptional semantic memory, particularly with naming presidents/leaders all across the world. The director who was showing us around asked him who the president of the United States is. He took a minute and said “Obama”.

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Sahanna proposed the idea to see the Godzilla movie at 7:20pm or 9pm. They ended up seeing the 7:20pm one. Taniqua, Lauren, Kelsey and I didn’t go. We decided to check out Fab India.

Went back to hostel to exchange my backpack for a purse. As I walked in, I see a lizard between two side tables. It quickly ran underneath one of the tables. I met up with everyone in Lauren’s room and told them about the lizard. To calm myself down, I was ready to make peace and call the lizard my pet/friend. Taniqua insisted I let the front desk know about it. She talked to the lady for me, and they said they could handle it in two minutes. Taniqua went to the hostel store and Lauren waited downstairs. Kelsey came with me to my room. Between us two, we couldn’t locate the whereabouts of the lizard. A housekeeper knocked, and I let her in. I explained I saw it earlier, but not sure where it went. I showed her the area between the two cabinets because that’s where I last saw the lizard fled. She moved one cabinet, and I knew she found it by her swift motions of the small broom. She stabbed and swept the lizard out of the room, but not in one piece. Its tail came off and was wriggling around. I am not sure what she did with the lizard, but I graciously thanked her. Kelsey informed me that lizards release their tails as a safety mechanism – they can still run away if caught.

Kelsey, Taniqua and I caught tea just in time. Samosas with ketchup was served. After, we caught rickshaws to Fab India. I rode with Taniqua. When we arrived at the destination, Kelsey and Lauren were nowhere in sight. We waited by the road for a couple minutes, asked the Fab India worker and then waited some more outside. No arrivals. Taniqua prayed, which inspired me too also. Finally, we decided to catch a rickshaw back to Manipal to check if they returned to the hostel. Nope. Waited for an hour and decided to go back to the shopping complex after thinking that they should be alright since they have each other. This time, we shopped around. Fab India was a lot smaller than I expected. I saw one shirt I liked, but didn’t like the neckline when I tried it on. The other stores were very American. Checked out Nike to see if it costs less. Not really – between $20-25.

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Taniqua wanted KFC for dinner, so we went.

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I’m not a fan of fried foods, but I got a rice bowl with chicken. Wanted get a wrap with lettuce and chicken, but was hesitant of the fresh veggies. I didn’t want to risk becoming more sick. The chicken tastes just like the US, but the rice tasted like biriyani, which made the food spicy. I used three ketchup packets to alleviate the spiciness.

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We caught the rickshaw back and decided to check the cafeteria for Kelsey and Lauren. They walked out as we were walking in. They were holding drinks and bags. They said their driver didn’t know where Fab India was, so he kept driving. He took them to Udupi City, and they just ended up shopping there. Told them our story about how we worried sick. I asked them what they got. Kelsey got some fabric/tapestries and elephants. Lauren got more kurtis. Lauren had a Mazza drink, and that persuaded me to get one. Drinking more fruit juices makes me feel like I am eating fruit.

Went back to hostel, showered, washed clothes, uploaded pictures to computer and wrote in journal. I feel asleep in bed while writing around 12:30-1am.

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