Sunday, August 19, 2012

Yesterday, I went to Target

Another week has passed here in Hyderabad and I'm still alive.  Independence day was this past Wednesday, so that was holiday which I would have enjoyed a lot had I not been sick to my stomach.  Luckily, that has now passed.

Moving on, yesterday, I went to Target.  Actually, I finally had a chance to make plans to hang out with my friend Bhavani, who was actually my Hindi teacher last time I was here.  Anyway, I went out to her house in Gachibowli and had lunch with Bhavani and her daughter, Tanvi.  Tanvi is so amazing -- 4 years old and speaks 3 languages.  And she's so cute!


Anyway, we had a yum lunch of lemon rice.  And caught up a bit with what's been happening in general.  And afterwards, we went to Inorbit Mall in Madhupur.  We went to place that looked like Target / Wal-mart called Hyper City.  But even more so than Spar does.  I truly felt "American" in Inorbit Mall.  The first store I saw walking in was LaCoste.  MAC (make-up store) was coming soon.  And the food court (aside from the basic India food stalls) included a mexican place, chinese place, thai place, Baskin Robins, Subway, McDonalds, Quizno's, Pizza Hut and a KFC.  There was also a place I've seen a few times in Hyderabad called "Cream Stone Creamery" -- which is exactly like Cold Stone Creamery.  It was a good day overall though.  And now, I know where I can go to get tacos - super important.

Also, while in Hyper City, I found tuna in a can -- which I had planned to bring to work for lunch.  But actually, turns out that one tuna can costs 165 INR!  Which is like 3 USD.  Ok -- tuna costs less in the US. And, I can get a 6 inch tuna sub from Subway for 125 INR ($2.25)!  Does that make any sense? Nope.  I know.  I also found bacon -- in case I ever need any.  And in case I ever need Louisiana Bloody Mary mix, I found this in Hyper City:
From Louisiana to Hyderabad...Too bad I don't like Bloody Mary's..

I don't think I'll be going to Hyper City any time soon as that place was super expensive...  But I think I'll be hanging out with Bhavani again soon!  We're going to plan a spa-day!  I really need a massage.

Eid is this evening / tomorrow so we have off which is awesome. :)  Yay!  I finally finished booking all of my tickets to and from here back home in October.  Now to work on booking my travel within India. 

Besides my trip back home in October, I should be going to Udaipur with Tanu in November for Diwali!  And maybe Jaisalmer as well.  And I'm thinking Kerala over Christmas?

Also, here's a picture of me looking "dashing":

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Any doubts?

So a lot has happened since I last updated.  I've gone through this retreat / training workshop in the middle of nowhere for 3 days and spent my first full week at my job.

Also before this "inspiration" workshop, my roommates and I threw at party our apartment that our watchman (security guard) was not happy about:

(I want to point out the "Royal Challenge" in hand because it's really a challenge to drink that beer...)

Later in the week....

Through the fellowship, there was an "inspiration" workshop at a retreat about 60 kilometers outside of Hyderabad.  It was fun because the Hyderabad fellows were able to meet the other fellows from Mumbai and Bangalore.  I met another fellow from New Orleans too (besides the other Hyderabad fellow from New Orleans) that went to my high school, but was 2 grades lower than me.  Very cool.  I tried to climb up a rockwall, but that was a fail:

Tanu made it to the top though:

This past week was my first week at the Dr. Reddy's Foundation so Eric (another fellow) and I pretty much traveled to 3 different training centers around Hyderabad to get a feel for how the operations of the non-profit work.  It was very interested and eye-opening.  Dr. Reddy's Foundation offers job training to needy aspirants for about 45 days and then places them with employers after training them.  While we were in the Dilsuknagar center, we went with the facilitators on their mobility (marketing) outreach.  It was very interesting and crazy as for party of it, we were in the slum.  Like a real one which was also next to some government housing (that reminded me of the projects in the States).  It's interested how you can spot "government house" no matter where you are...  

When were in this area, we also met with a group of women to tell them about the program and I found out that they do not speak Telegue (the local language), Hindi, or English.  These were a mainly tribal community living in the slum because they had been displaced due to a fire.  They spoke Lambadi, which I had never even heard of.

Also, a couple of nights ago, Tanu and I had dinner with the watchman and his family since it was his son's birthday.  His wife (also our maid) made this chicken curry that was so good.  I'm going to try my hand at making something of the sort today, but I don't know if I'll be successful though... Wish me luck!