Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Strike + Rain = awesome 36 hours!!!

So the last 36 hours have been quite eventful here in the state of Orissa. Yesterday the government of India decided that they were going to go on strike because of the rapid raise in fuel costs. So the whole country shut down and there were lots of riots. No shops were opened and locals were encouraged to stay home as rick shaw cabs were 3 times the usual fare. Since I am in the countryside right now it was business as usual in the morning but in the afternoon on all the roads were blocked and we could tell it was getting a little intense outside so we decided to stay in for the rest of the day. Needless to say I have really improved my ability to play hearts. Thankfully we have season one of house to keep us entertained as well :) It started raining really hard last night around 10pm and hasnt stopped since. When we woke up this morning we thought our field officers wouldnt be picking us up due to the rain. I really didn't want to ride motorcycles in the rain. To get to the villages we have to go on dirt roads that are already muddy on a sunny day. But to no avail the field officers were here on time at 7am. So we headed out to the villages. I was pretty nervous when we hit the dirt roads. I had to bail a few times this morning so the bike wouldn't tip over. You can imagine that I am about a foot taller than my field officer so its pretty entertaining when the bike starts to fish tail and i immedialty try to bail. Needless to say no accidents today. We were able to make all 4 village meetings this morning. I am really starting to enjoy the meetings with the ultra poor members. They have taught me a few phrases and I can count to 5 in their native tongue. The interviews that we are giving the members are going well and we have collected great data that we are going to present to SKS next week when we return to Hyderabad.

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