Tifton, Georgia: Monday, March 11, 2013 9:31 AM
Today was yet another eventful day. We didn’t go to the school until around noon because they are taking exams, so we spent that time doing interviews. Tom interviewed Jitender, Marcus, Aashi, and I about our perceptions of this trip and of one another. I hope that my feelings come across well in the video. But just like with my writing putting things into words is hard for me right now. Nothing makes any sense and yet everything makes sense. At every turn there is some new irony. And even as I write this, my mind is speaking with a Hindi accent. That is what this place does; it gets into your mind and soul and makes you feel things about the place that cannot be captured well with words or pictures. That won’t keep me from trying though.
When I finally got to know some of the girls I realized that I can actually understand their English some, and what parts I can’t understand can be clarified through actions. Today I learned a new game and even though we couldn’t understand each other very well they were each acting as my own how to book. The game is somewhat like hopscotch but it involves a piece of tile and you can only hop on one foot. Then with one foot you kick the piece of tile somewhere that you can jump on it again with just one foot. It sounds confusing because it is, but it was very fun to watch and to play. Praveen, being his normal kid self, played with the kids and the whole time he played I had my fingers crossed that Tom was getting good footage of it. This interaction between adults and kids as well as kids and kids is entirely different here. In my last blog I wrote about how close the people are physically and today I got even more pictures of that kinship. Even in the way they greet someone is so kind and gentle. When we say Namaste we hold our hands at chest level with the palms and fingers pressed together. They usually say it back and take your hands in their hands. There is no shake involved, just a simple touch and then they welcome you into their home or business.
Side note: When we were riding back in the van just now I was responding to a question that Marcus asked me and I replied like an Indian without even thinking about it. Everybody here wiggles their head to say yes instead of nodding. They nod their heads to the left and sometimes they wobble their hand side to side like we would do to symbolize wishy-washy or something. Every response I get feels like a maybe but sometimes they are solid yeses and they still wobble the head. And now I’m doing it! Subconsciously! And I’m saying things like, “Oh, it is not like dis” and “What do you speak on?”. At the same time Marcus and I have Aashi saying things like “Psshh” and rolling her eyes to dismiss something. She is also saying “cool” much more than when we got here. We are all rubbing off on one another
I have to make this one short today because I think we are leaving for an internet café where I can make sure all of this gets uploaded. To everybody there, good morning…and goodnight.