It is the end of the week here in Chandelao. I have been in the village for about four days and have gone to Jodhpur for the weekend to have hindi lessons and see the other interns. This week has been my first week here in India, and it has not been an easy transition. First, when I arrived, I was constantly passed around to people in FSD and not given orientation very well. Every night I was staying in a different place and not knowing what was going on. Once I arrived in the village, it was nice to be able to get settled in my room and have somewhere to leave my things. The room is nice. I am staying at a hotel in the village that is an old fort from the 1740’s. It is an amazing place to be living since it is so historical. I get three meals a day and it is extremely quiet and quite lonely. There are really only two people who speak english there, the hotel owner and the manager of the women’s center. Radhika, the manager, will only be there for one more week and then she is moving away and will no longer work there which will leave me to work as the manager there. I don’t speak the language and don’t know anything yet so this is not sitting well with me. I thought I would be doing development with the rural women, and the center is already running and I am not sure what the point of me being there is just yet, except run the center that I know nothing about.
Other than that, there is a ton of wildlife in the area, including a monkey that keeps running around the hotel grounds. There are two pet dogs at the hotel, Hazel and Kitty, which are nice to have around. The tourists come to the hotel and stay for a few days at a time and will at least give me some people to talk with. This week there were two Swedish people who came to check up the solar project that they are funding, which has yet to be started since the solar system has not reached the village and only 2 women have been trained. There were also two Australians who got to the village last night and will be there a few days. It is quite interesting to have conversations about the difference in cultures of India, America, and the other countries that are home to the tourists.
The isolation of the village will not give me very fun details to report on on a daily basis, but hopefully I can figure out something to work on. The pictures are of the hotel and crafts center where the women make traditional handicrafts from the Indian state of Rajasthan by hand.