What am I doing here?
Before coming here, I wrote down all my goals for this trip on an index card and in a document called “LIFE.” Here’s a summary:
- Collect photographs, recipes, and oral histories from family members
- Get involved in research on the medicinal value of local plants
- Teach local students through hands-on science projects
- Become conversational in Kannada
- Create some sort of project about skin-lightening or depiction of skin color in Indian art/media
- Feel self-sufficient in India
- Learn dance, yoga, threading/henna, or tailoring
- Creative project based off of what I learn here
Funnily enough, the most vaguely defined goal and the one that I thought would take the longest–feeling self-sufficient here–is the one that I feel like I’ve made a surprising amount of progress on. Granted I’ve spent the past couple of months crashing with one member of my family after another, but I think when I wrote these out, I was thinking more in terms of feeling comfortable getting around by myself. While I’ve traveled alone from the United States to India without any major problems, I have messed up transferring at Croton on my way home from Poughkeepsie, so naturally I found local travel within and around Bangalore and India pretty daunting. Thanks to the help of my family, I feel confident getting around using local public transportation. Even if I don’t always know where I am, I know that I’ll somehow get myself where I need to go.