Monday, July 6, 2009
Questions from my cousin Augie
I recently received an email from my cousin, and he was asking about my daily life in India along with a few other questions. I figured these would be good not only to share the answers with him, but with everyone. So his questions were, “How is it in India? Are you having fun? Can you tell me a little bit about your daily activities in India? What is the main mode of transportation in India? How does your equipment work?”
So, how is it in India? This is a pretty broad and open ended question, but the simple answer is it is very good. Everyone is very friendly; everyone wants to talk to me all the time. It does not matter if I am running, walking down the street, eating a meal, people will come and interrupt like it is not big deal at all and that I do not care if they interrupt what I am trying to do. The only down side here is the weather during the day is a bit warm. Other than that, India is very good. There is a rich, unique culture, and I enjoy seeing and experiencing this culture every day.
Am I having fun? Of course I am having fun. I am having a blast. I do not know too many people that get to travel to a foreign country for 5 months, do research on something they are passionate about, sight see new places, learn about a new culture, try to learn a new language, try new foods, and experience something new every day. Every day when I wake up, I know I am going to see something and experience something unique, so for me, that is a lot of fun.
What are my daily activities? Well let’s see, this is kind of a hard question so I will break it into two parts. Days we go to the field: I get up and we usually leave around 6am. We get to the field, after stopping for breakfast of rice and tea about 2-2.5 hours later. We then do our work in the field and come back home. We try to get home in the early afternoon, but sometimes we get home anywhere from 1-5pm that day. Once we get home, I shower, clean up a little bit, and start to look at the data we have just collected. I write field notes for the day to document what activities we did in the field, and also work on the weekly report to note what we did for a particular day. After cleaning up and getting some work done, I make supper or go out to eat, read a little bit, and then go to bed.
Days we do not go to the field I either get up in the morning and go for a run or sleep in. Days I sleep in I work out in the afternoons after work. I make breakfast at home, usually just a bowl of oatmeal and cereal, or sometimes eggs or pancakes. Then, I get some work done at home, and get ready to go to the office around 10. Once at the office we work on our projects for the day or the week, have lunch anywhere form 1230-230. I usually leave the office around 400 to come home. Once at home I will either take a little nap, read, finish my work for the day, go to the market if I have to grocery shop. For dinner, I will either make supper or go to the market and have supper there. I really like to go to the market for dinner as I can get some really good street food for really cheap. Things like potato cakes with bean chili on top, pizza, fried noodles, eggs, chili chicken, fresh Indian food, so just all sorts of good stuff. Also, usually when I go to the market for dinner I have some ice cream for dessert!!
The main mode of transportation? Most people in the bigger cities like Delhi, Bombay, and Calcutta will take bus as the main mode of transportation. Here where I live the main way to move is by bicycle, motorcycle, tempos (small three wheeled buses that hold about 12 people), walking, and then car. I usually move by walking or tempos. Buses are most common though. To move a large distance it is either by bus or by train. I prefer train if it is going to be over a 3 hour journey.
How does our equipment work? That is a bit more than I want to get into right now, but if you go to the following link, http://sites.google.com/site/gwbclemson/, at the bottom of the page there is a word document you can open up and it tells all about the instruments, how they work and what they do.
Hope you find this interesting and informative. This is my life, everyday!!