Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Life at the CRHP compound

It’s only Tuesday and already my brain is overflowing and I am exhausted. I thought I’d post a quick update about the living arrangements before I get to the meatier stuff so here goes….

Our days have been so full we didn’t have a chance to have our introductory administration meeting until this evening and we arrived on Sunday afternoon.

But I’ll back up. Sunday we all met at the Pune train station to take the 4+-hour drive on bouncy rutted dirt roads to the Jamkhed Compound. There are 22 students and our two tutors (who are married) plus their two children. Of the students I’m the third oldest, which is a strange place to be. Especially when I learned that two of our group are undergraduates, one of who is turning 21 next week! That makes her younger than the kids I took to Israel!! But how refreshing to be in a vehicle that was older than me! Luckily there was none of that new-fangled air conditioning to chill my old brittle bones on the drive and we bounced and bounded along on road only slightly wider than the bus, with oncoming traffic and cars passing on either side the whole time. The experience was good since I hadn’t had time for a cardio workout in the morning.

Upon arrival we were shown our rooms. Because of my advanced standing in a community that still respects the elderly, I’ve been given one of the luxury rooms. I’d been expecting to share with as many as 3 other people but instead, I’m in a suite with just one of the other oldies, Karin, and we are next door to the tutors and their family. We have two bedrooms and 2 bathrooms as well as a lounge room with a television and a fridge! It’s quite odd as some of the others are4 to a room with a single bath so I’m not sure how it’s been divided.

The only drawback is that we’re about a 5 minute walk away from the others, who share a common courtyard so we’re a bit out of the social hub, but we’re obviously welcome to go hang out there any time we like. And it doesn’t seem like there is much free time anyway!

The room itself is great. I hung my mozzie net from my metal wardrobe and I’m using my second bed to supplement my cupboard space. I have a desk which is serving as a vanity and my bathroom is simple but has a western toilet and shower that has really good water pressure and plenty of hot water as long as I turn on the hot water heater 10 minutes before I want to use it. My only complaint is the mattress. Having just spent a week on an air mattress at camp, which was a bit too soft, I feel like Goldilocks but this mattress is too hard. I don’t know what it is about developing countries but they do love their firm mattresses! I tried taking the mattress off the second bed but that just made it a higher-up firm bed, it didn’t make it softer. Oh well, it’s probably good for my back.

It’s quite cool at night but I’ll run the ceiling fan anyway to discourage the mozzies, though there really don’t seem to be many. But they’ll find me, even hiding under my canopy so I’m taking every precaution. Speaking of that canopy, my bed is calling me now, so tune in soon for details of our first excursion into Jamkhed town as well as other excitement!!

1 comment:

Hanna said...

Your pad sounds great Shez! All the mattresses I slept on in India were rock hard so a soft bed awaits you at home. I miss you but am picturing you enjoying the Indian experience. Love you xo