First Impressions

Gina writes:

We are here in Delhi, safe and sound! 28 hours after saying our final good-byes in the Detroit airport, we were relieved to find that our checked luggage had indeed made the trip with us and we were officially here! Even after the long flights, the sight of the hundreds of Indians patiently holding signs with peoples' names on them really started the adrenaline flowing. A few highlights from our first full day in Delhi.

--We've never seen as many mosquitos as we did while waiting for our transportation outside the Delhi airport at 3 a.m.

--The roof of the VSO India staff member's car was piled high high high with all of our luggage on the roof. Quite a sight, but actually nothing compared to other cars with dozens of suitcases strapped to the top of the vehicles!

--Our accommodations at the Indian Social Institute (ISI) are clean and comfortable. We even have the chance to enjoy a hot shower! It feels a bit like college, with people sharing rooms with two beds, two desks, two armoires, and a bathroom, but the closeness will help us to develop relationships with the other VSO workers. We were given mosquito nets to place over our beds. Both happen to be a bright purple, making me feel like a princess while relaxing under it.

--There are a total of 16 VSO workers here for in-country orientation-3 from the Phillipines, 1 from Kenya, 1 from Ireland, 2 from Canada, 1 from Australia, 6 from England, and only us from the U.S. We're learning about other cultures besides India!

--We haven't seen any cockroaches (yet) and are attributing that to the resident gecko in our bathroom. I'm still trying to come up with a good name for it...

--We successfully bargained a reasonable price for our first ride in a rickshaw. The ride was especially harrowing given that I sat on Corey's lap so that we could fit four people in the tiny compartment that's designed for three!

--Our first meals have been so delicious. We loved all the different foods available at the lunch buffet at ISI. For dinner, we rode the rickshaws to a market area near ISI and ate at Sagar, a south Indian vegetarian restaurant. Corey ordered a sampler platter and I ordered a coconut tomato uthapam, though I had no idea what it was (but it was amazing!). Our two dinners with drinks cost about $5!

Our sleep schedules are completely out of whack, from the time change (10.5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time) and the traveling. Here's to hoping that we can catch up on sleep soon!