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The lowdown, the skinny, the straight dope… or How did I end up in the India

29 May 2008

For the beginning of this story, check out my first blog therealafrica.blogspot.com.

But for those of you who haven’t heard why I’m in India and not in Zambia and are too lazy to click and read, here’s the story:

For the four months I was in Zambia, my part in the work of my organization there was an evolving process. I was spending some time working on legal issues, but for the most part, I have been involved with other random matters in the office, including filling in as the acting accountant for three weeks, developing newfound skills as the IT person, and just generally serving as a file clerk / administrator (along with Mason, who is infinitely better at this than I am). As much as I enjoyed being with the people at the office, I was becoming discouraged because I felt I wasn’t using my legal skills to help the organization. So after speaking with our office director and the director of the fellowship program, we decided together that it would be best if I moved to an office that more needed the legal skills I can offer. So, I left in February, spent a month at home, and then moved to Chennai, India.

(For how I first ended up anywhere than at my home in Chicago, you’re just going to have to check out my other blog… it’s a story I’ve told too many times, and I’m tired.)

I have been in Chennai for two and a half months now and am finally taking the time to write about it. For two months, I’ve found myself too busy to write; I was just trying to soak it all in myself, no time to spill it back out. Then last week Mike visited. And then he left. I was hit with some pretty bad homesickness and culture shock. So I decided it was time to sit down and remind myself of why I’m here before I freak out at some auto-driver who is trying to charge me Rs.30 for a ride that should be only Rs.14 (“But madam, very far! Very far, madam!”) and steal his incense or something.

So here it is – my attempt at sanity. Hope you enjoy it.

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