Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4, 2009
American independence day and I’m in New Delhi. There will be a celebration at the US Embassy and if I’m up to it, I’ll go. I’ve gotten my first real cold in India so I’m just not sure at this point. Regardless,

I’m in love with India! Why might you ask would this be the case, after all, it’s hot and humid, dusty, there is little regard to sanitation, the pollution can be overwhelming, the number of people, especially on the buses and metro, at times, is much too crowded.

These things though are all part of the magic of India. As one looks beyond the things that might be seen as negatives, one can see so much to be in love with. It can be as simple as the walk on my way home where I stop at any number of roasted corn sellers, where for the equivalent of 10 cents I can get a freshly roasted corn, smothered in salt and fresh lime. Children are the main sellers of the roasted corn, over a small, jerry rigged stove, with a few coals. The constant fanning keeps the coals hot, while the corn roaster turns the corn to make it just so.

How about the multitude of doors and windows that keep opening through my job. Every meeting that I have, every person that I meet presents another opportunity for me. I never felt this way in the States, but maybe I wasn’t as conscious of this. I constantly talk about partnerships and others shake their head yes. Maybe there is some caution, but through my persistent nature, I’m getting people to sit down together and dialogue. I wanted a challenge, a job where I could help to make an impact, something on an international level. This job is proving to be all that I had hoped. It is so much helped by my two bosses, who have been so incredibly supported, so open to seeing the possibilities. I love my colleagues and their willingness to share their lunch with me, their willingness to help me to succeed, even though they might not totally understand what I’m doing. I’m so in love with my job, it is so much fun, so much work, but it is so worth it.

I’m so in love with coaching basketball at the YMCA-New Delhi. The children have totally opened up to me, laugh at my silliness, seek me out for guidance and totally ignore what I’m saying. They tell me this is the India way to play b-ball and they are not afraid to give their opinions. I’m working on trying to create leadership and getting boys and girls to be on a comparable level. I’m making some progress on both fronts, but it is slow. I’m learning more about basketball, one of my great loves in life, as I teach the children the basics. I so love when the children get something, a good bounce pass, keeping their heads up when they dribble, moving their feet on defense. I know that one day a week for me for this exercise is not enough but it will do as I feel the connections.

I love my flat and the family that owns it. They have opened up their house and their hearts to me, except for the Great Dane, Great, who refused to get to know me. The flat is so lovely and the owners just keep doing more to improve it, to make it more comfortable. I adore the children that live here, they are so incredibly fun and sweet and have gotten used to me, are no longer shy with me. In fact they will come up and hang out. Last night I was watching a download of the 2nd half of the Lakers-Magic game 5 and one of the brothers came up and just started watching with me. Whenever else could I say that I watched an NBA game on the third floor veranda of a New Delhi flat with an Indian? I love the fact that when I wash my clothes I do it in a bucket and then hang the clothes out to dry. How much less energy am I using now that I live in India? I don’t drive a car, I do use an a/c at times in the evening, but that’s about it. I’ve somehow become much more responsible in my energy consumption.

I’m in love with the little things, with the metro and the many people that I’ve met while traveling on this at times sardine like public transportation mode, with the rickshaw drivers who always try to say that their meters are not working, that they are giving me a good deal, with the cows and dogs who are omni-present, no matter where I go in Delhi, with the buildings that are always covered in dust, with the weather, which makes me sweat like I’ve never sweated before in my life, with the fresh fruits and veggies that I eat on a regular basis, keeping my body healthy. I’m in love with it all.

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