A Brief Update…

skylineHi friends,
So I am still alive, contrary to what my posting habits would suggest. I’m actually just really bad at writing my thoughts down. I have multiple draft posts half written but either I get interrupted or I loose steam and fail to finish the post.
Lots has happened since my last post. I have been away from Jaipur nearly every weekend. We have been to Agra (as I posted about), but also Jaiselmer and the desert, Ajmer/Pushkar to see the temples, and last weekend we went to a town called Bundi. All have been beautiful and I really enjoy the fact that I’ve had an opportunity to see so many different parts of the state. We have been North, South, East, and West of Jaipur and I have a much better idea of what the geographical make up of the state is now than I did when I got here.
My internship has been set. Next week, after Holi, I will be starting work with the National Muslim Women’s Welfare Society. They work with Muslim women as well as with the Harijun population here in Jaipur (so that means I will continue to stay with the same family!), specifically focusing on education. There is extreme discrimination towards Muslims in Jaipur, and Muslim women especially. As a result, they often times are not afforded the opportunities that they are entitled to by the Indian Constitution; federal and state laws; and city code. This organization, in part, makes sure that they know their rights and helps them advocate for them. I am not sure exactly what I will be doing with the organization just yet, though. I know I will be going into the field and doing actual work with the people on the ground for sure. I am more than a little nervous for that, though, as my language skills are still so poor. I have been working very hard and I can read and write decently and understand some amounts of everyday speech. But, at my level, I cannot even begin to hope to be able to successfully communicate with people, particularly about such sensitive subjects that have very specific language. The organization is working to find an interpreter, but I worry that that lowers my usefulness considerably. Though I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, as it will enhance my knowledge and experience immensely, I am really not sure what I bring to the table. Time will tell, I suppose.
Otherwise, I am excited for classes to wrap up this week and definitely a little nervous for my Hindi final. I have been doing well in class but I am not positive that that will translate well to an exam. Besides that, you all can look for me to post some of the things that I have been drafting over the past while. Those should be pretty decent. Like I’ve said before, they’re not specific events, but more thoughts gained from experiences.
Take and give care,
Joe

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