So the first part of this trip has been…frustrating.
I don’t remember it being so difficult to get around India. I don’t remember having so much difficulty getting a story to work.
I do have to say, though, the girl who is helping me and my fellow photojournalist on our stories has been incredibly helpful. Ekta is her name and she has helped us start working with migrant train workers, translated for us in multiple situations, helped conduct an interview with a family living in a slum, and even took us out shopping.
^Kaylee (left) and me (right) wearing scarves we got from shopping^
But miscommunications and delays have only been making the clock on my back grow heavier. And as of today, I only have two weeks left. Sounds like a lot, but when trying to do an in-depth story on someone from a foreign country who only stares at you and poses in all pictures the first few times you meet them makes it a little difficult.
^Guy at a restaurant who wanted his picture taken^
As for my stories, I’m focusing on the migrant train workers at Hazrat Nizamuddin station who receive no benefits from the government and I’m also doing a story on child malnourishment in India.
^Migrant train workers who live in a shanty literally between train tracks^
While I still love India, I’m beginning to understand it more. The corruption that all the people speak about is becoming more apparent. It’s difficult to see such wonderful people left unheard by a government that doesn’t seem to care. Like the family I met yesterday. Their daughter was killed in a train accident, but when the father went to the government to receive some aid, he was never helped. Living in a slum, he can’t afford to waste his time talking to officials who will never help him.
^Aarti, the sister of the girl who died in a train accident^
On the other side, it’s nice to see that people here make due with what they have. Kids play with old bike tires and rocks - not something that would entertain most kids I’ve met back home.
^Bhedi, a government-hired train worker^
Indians are just very resilient. No matter what’s thrown their way, they find a way to work with what they’re given. The more I stay here, the more resilient I grow, and the quicker I lose my frustrations.
Hopefully I’ll be able to continue working with the guys at the train tracks…as long as police don’t yell at us again.
After a ridiculous series of delays and miscommunication, I finally made it to India. Today was my first full day in India. Started the day with some masala chai (Good God, I missed that stuff.). Then went to a coffee shop for some real food. Roamed about the area for a bit. Got passport photos taken so we could all get cell phones. Waited about an hour for our phones in a super cramped shop as a beggar girl slowly crept down the steps toward us.
Then went to World Media Academy headquarters to meet a few of the journalism students there and to see what their facilities were like. Then went out for lunch.
Next we all hit up INA Market so we could photograph mini-stories in 45 minutes.
Met a super nice guy there named Brian who was buying spices to take home with him. He’s a culinary student who’s been interning at Naandi in the Himalayas for two and a half months. He’s been spending the last part of his trip in Delhi with his “adoptive” mother. I was most interested in what he had to say about how people in India get very close very quick. I’ve discovered that a lot of my friends who have traveled to other countries notice this as well. A friend who went to Chile came back wanting to kiss everyone on the cheek when she would leave. One of my friends who traveled to Germany even had her host mom cuddle with her while watching TV the first night she was there.
Personal space in other countries is more different than it is in America. The girls here, for example, link arms so they don’t go astray. The guys hold hands as a sign of friendship; they’re not even afraid to snuggle up close when riding on the back of a motorcycle. That’s definitely something you wouldn’t see in America. But just an observation.
After INA, we all got dressed up to head to a dinner we hosted for our contacts. Definitely met some awesome people. Ekta was fantastic and will be able to help me on both of my stories (slums near train tracks and child malnourishment). Met a few other people who will be able to help me as well. Mostly, it was just nice to be around Indian people again and to talk.
Looking forward to seeing what the next few days bring.
Looking forward to seeing how today goes. Getting local phones and doing some trips to the markets. But first thing’s first…gotta get some rupees!
The lights of New Jersey twinkled below as the airplane began to descend.
The plane to Newark was delayed. The flight to Delhi was only missed by 14 minutes (because that one was delayed, too). I’m still enjoying spending time with my fellow travelers before we hit the ground running when we land in India.
Plans for tomorrow are to hit up NYC? Let’s hope so! The flight to Delhi doesn’t leave till 8:30 p.m. It’d be nice to have some fun before getting down to business.
I can’t wait to feel the hot, humid air when I step out of the airport. I can’t wait to feel like I’ll be flung out the side of a rickshaw again. I’m dying to eat authentic Indian food again and drink masala chai with people I meet. And come on, who could forget cold coffee with ice cream?
Most of all, though, I’m looking forward to the people. I really miss the hospitality I came to enjoy while I was there.
I’m so excited to have another chance to do a story there. Last time, I didn’t come home with a story I was really proud of. I made photographs I loved, but nothing that really told a story. And there’s plenty I wish I had taken pictures of to show others when they ask about it.
Few people, especially college students, are given opportunities like this. I’m just so thankful to be given this chance.
So for the next couple months, my fellow India trippers and I will be scouting out story ideas and planning for our trip! If anyone has any ideas, send a message my way. I’ll be incredibly grateful!
India, here I come!
…but I have moved into my apartment on the UNL campus =]
Yeah, I moved in yesterday, and within twenty minutes of being back on campus, I managed to do something that had me wondering how I got into college.
I got checked in and grabbed a cart so I could start loading things into my apartment, so I opened my trunk and loaded it. Took the stuff back to my room and then got ready to head back to my car for another load. But lo and behold I had locked my keys in my trunk!
But I definitely have the best dad in the entire world! So to all those, near and far, let it be known that my dad is better than yours.
That’s right, my dad, with only two wire hangers was able to pop my car back open! Let me see your dad do that. ^_^
But yeah…even though I’m not in some crazy foreign country, I still manage to get myself into stupid situations, especially with my car. Like:
- Locking my keys in the car…while it’s running. Luckily cute Blockbuster boy was able to help.
- Leaving my lights on, draining my battery. Dad came to the rescue yet again.
- After a party one time in Lincoln, I lost my keys and couldn’t find them anywhere. My dad drove the hour from Omaha just to give me a spare. Then we found the keys. Of course.
So yes, everyone, my dad is the best and helps me out of all my stupid situations! Thank you!
That’s right folks. If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling for months and months at a time but don’t think you can because of money or obligations at home, THINK AGAIN!
I read this book in the spring and let me tell you…it really opens your eyes to the possibility of long-term traveling. This was one of the first books in awhile that I really enjoyed. It had a good mix of literature from other travel writings as well as tips. But more than anything, it’s a philosophy on travel.
To be able to travel for long periods of time would require the right mindset, and this book is a fantastic starting point. It’s really not that expensive and it’s a quick read, but really is inspiring. Go pick it up at your local Border’s…since it’s closing =(.
I really think anyone interested in traveling, and not merely being a tourist, will thoroughly enjoy this book.
Growing up I’ve always wished to have one of those sexy British accents, or Irish or Spanish or Italian. After my trip to India, I discovered that people speaking Hindi is freakin’ sexy too.
So in light of all these beautiful languages and accents, I see English (and particularly American accents), as being ugly. However, I was just laying in my room listening to music when the lyrics of songs just kind of melted and it was all just…a mixture of melody and rhythm in a sense. I knew there was singing, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the lyrics. It was beautiful still. Just the diction and the flow of English can sometimes be really fantastic. (I probably sound high right now, but I think it just has something to do with it being 2 a.m.)
I don’t know…just makes me think of different people in my life. Like my friend Nate…when he gets passionate about something, I can always tell. He has a very particular way of speaking and will begin using fancy words. His descriptions just become elaborate and it’s pretty cool. I feel like I can’t ever piece together descriptions the way he does.
But yeah..this was my rambling on language and American accents (which will still never be as sexy as a British accent…)
MY NEW CAMERA LENS IS HERE!!!
However, I’m currently not doing any traveling. But I don’t want this lovely little blog of mine to die. So bear with me as I try to figure out ways to keep this thing alive for when I do go on more adventures across the world (cause believe me, I plan to)!
So for now, I want to hear from you guys! Do you have any travel tips or ideas? Think about good ways to pack, things to remember when you’re traveling, photo ideas, ways to meet people and get around, etc. These tips can be general or for a very specific! Just send your tips to my ask box or answer this post!
Have any pieces of wisdom to share?