Holy smokes, I can’t believe another week is almost done here. That means I have just about been here for a month and am about a third of the way through my placement and time in India. This week flew by with the arrival of the new students. To say there have been some ups and downs is an understatement. Just as Steph and I felt like we were getting the hang of things, our schedule this week was completely thrown off as we (happily) help to orient the new students to life on campus.
Before I get too ahead of myself, I will also give a quick update on the waterpark adventure on Madurai from Sunday. It felt beyond amazing to swim around in the water all day with the heat still being unbearable. We had to wear full clothing while we were there, which surprisingly wasn’t as strange as I thought it would be. I think mainly because that was just what everyone else was doing, so it felt normal once we were there. I would have felt extremely uncomfortable had I been wearing a bathing suit. As the only foreigners in the park, we of course stood out again. It also didn’t help that I went around for most of the day with my GoPro on my head, but most people just wanted to know how it worked. The hardest part of being there was hands down how stinking hot the ground got since we weren’t wearing shoes. Most people here have feet of steel I think, probably because we often see people just walking the streets without shoes on so they have built up their tolerance. Steph and I spent our morning there hoping from one shady spot to another as we attempted to get between rides or water areas. We had to run most of the time to avoid scalding the bottoms of our feet! Overall it was a nice morning spent in the water, and interesting even just to drive the streets of another city. Oh ya, how could I forget – we drove on our first divided hwy, which we thought was exciting enough..but then our driver decided that after taking a wrong turn, we would just drive down the stretch of hwy to the next cut off on the opposite side of the road, so we drove slowly along the shoulder (over a bridge as well!) to get to the next cut off. The best part is that it didn’t seem to phase anyone, for once there actually weren’t horns honking, and the other drivers politely moved over to give us some space – SO strange!
Once we were back on campus, we had the enjoyment of reliving all the new and exciting “firsts” of everything as the new students (if I’m going to keep talking about them, I should share their names – Ashleigh and Cameron) explored their surroundings. We ended up giving them a tour of campus on their first day because supervisor has been swamped with all his work lately, so it was neat to feel comfortable enough here to show others around. A wrench was thrown into things this week for Cameron when his appendix decided to give him some trouble. Long story short (after about 24 hours of chaos), he has had surgery to remove his appendix and is recovering just fine from the sounds of things! I can’t even imagine how it must have felt for him – not even a week here and he is now well acquainted with the Indian health care system. Maybe that will prove to be a benefit while he is on placement?! Thankfully everyone here at ASSA has been BEYOND amazing, and I am not surprised one bit. Everyone is so caring and concerned for him. Since this began on Tuesday, so many people have asked us how he is doing and if he is feeling any better. We have also heard from him that there were so many kind staff members who accompanied him on various parts of his trips to the nurse, Dr., hospital or around campus while they were figuring out the best plan to find reputable health care. Since we are in quite a rural area he ended up having to make a three hour car ride to a larger hospital that was able to perform the surgery. Thankfully people typically have a quick recovery from this type of surgery so we are hoping he will be back here in no time and can really start enjoying his time at ASSA.
Steph and I have planned a weekend trip to a place called Alleppey, which is in Kerela and is again on the south west coast of India, just a bit further north from where we were in Varkala Beach. This area is known for its houseboat tours, so we are looking forward to relaxing on the water and finally having a chance to take a break. Two busy six day weeks has taken a toll on us! I have still been bad with taking pictures the past week so unfortunately I don’t have much to add to this post 🙁 I promise the next one will be better!