Saturday, 2 July 2011

If you can Stand it

The next time you wake up in the morning and feel the comfy bed on your back, start to watch yourself. The air-conditioner leaves you feeling content as you walk to the kitchen and grab a tall, cold glass of tap water. Look at the water and how it nourishes your body as you gulp it down. This type of routine is usually done with automated movements, quick and careless. Rarely do people in our society appreciate the privilege of clean tap water and a comfy bed to sleep in. As I stepped off the plane in New Delhi, India, I knew I would soon be living a different life.
Anyone who has been to certain asian countries can account for the chaos that leaps through these roads and highways. Horns are constantly blaring as cars pass rickshaws, motorcycles, and people walking within inches of their sides. There are no rules on these roads, separating lines don't exist, and niether do red lights.. especially in the nights. Tracing the outlines of these roads are people trying to make a living. Fruit stands, newspaper stands, onion stands, egg stands, paper-fan stands.. 5 year old girls come to your window holding crafts that are hardly put together. Garbage layers the corners, piling under bridges where some families can be seen making a small fire or napping in the garbage.
The street of our flat is on the higher end of things. Our streets are small, but seem fancy with buildings intricately designed and oddly shaped trees keeping the shade. Around a few corners you will find Rickshaws with owners who will overcharge to foreigners if they don't try to bargain. They are similar to a down-sized taxis, except a car may graze your elbow if you don't keep it in the bars. We're also steps away from a small market that fulfills all of our needs through garage-like stores.
So, we sleep about nine of us in a flat with two bedrooms of three single beds each as well as two single beds and a double bed in the common area. I was pleasantly surprised with the living condition of the flat, although the beds are more like floors and a few feet separate the beds.. we had a shower and a flushing toilet! Sadly, 2 hours into my stay here the flushing stopped and we were without water until mid-day the next day. Electicity only went out once for a few minutes, so we're all set to move on.
My best advice to someone who is arriving in India would be to expect the unexpected. A little over-used as a quote but a couple days has already showed me that my patience works in my favour. Developping countries don't have set times and order. Sometimes the pace and organization of things depends on the availability of ressources at that particular time. We have had to set out to figure many things out on our own.. self-sufficiency always helps. Bring a map, bring your bearings, and bring a good spirit.
Here's a few stops on our tour:


  1. I'm happy you arrived safely! That sounds really intense! I hope you get some sleep at night and that it doesn't happen again where you don't have water for a whole day. But I guess that doesn't compare to what some poor people there have to experience. Stay strong, I know you will! It's good that you're patient also. I'm thinking of you a lot and we all really miss you! We are so proud of you, Jackie. I love reading your descriptions of what you are experiencing there. Can't wait to hear more!! Love you!!
    From Vanessa and Rebecca xoxoxo
    We send our love from Canada!!!

  2. Hey J, great to read your story. I'm sure you'll make a difference! Patience is very valuable and it's nice to read you can keep it in such an chaotic surrounding. It might seem chaotic, but it's still working pretty well.

    Great writing skills! Keep being amazed.
    Greets from Holland

  3. The next time I had a glass of cold water after reading your blog, I felt very grateful for it!! I try to cherish every moment that I am able to drink clean water... we don't realize how lucky we are here in Canada!

    Miss you! xoxo

  4. Oh, Rebecca read your blog too and she said "that doesn't sound like Jackie" ...haha, I thought that was funny. :P xoxo

  5. Thanks for reading! It's been a long 2 days, we just had a debriefing of our job description and what we will be doing and the whole project is amazing! We're going to start planning trips and travelling to other cities around India too.. especially to the Himalayas :). Here is an album that I posted.. I'll be adding pictures throughout the trip so keep checking if you're interested! Miss you all.