I'm working for HELP International as a Country Director in Hyderabad, India from May-August 2010.
May 12, 2010
Well, it was really poor form getting all starry eyed so early in the game. My little director friend keeps calling and showing up at meetings uninvited. I may have to DTR him soon and explain that I actually am not here to be the next bollywood star but in fact am here to do development work. We had one awesome meeting and two not so awesome meetings yesterday as well as got a apartment/house! The not so awesome meetings were funny. One was with this rural Franciscan school. They cater to slum kids and want help with English classes and their curriculum development. They brought us an Indian bouquet that had glitter all over the flowers, insisted on buying us coke (because we are American) and wouldn’t drink til we did, brought us Indian cookies and tried to mouth feed us, and kept trying to convince us that we needed to go out to eat. Part way through our forever long meeting, the guy turned to will to tell him how handsome he is. He then went to comment about his height and went on to exclaim, “you have a perfect BMI! You are like an Indian hero!” It was really, really amazing.
The other not-so-great meeting was with this dude who is friends with a guy from church who mistakenly thought we are out here on a crusade. He spoke with such zeal about being saved and how he wanted to use Jesus to cure all poverty and how he donates clothes to the poor and helps pastors in rural areas…for about 30 minutes. I sat squirming in my chair until I had to nicely tell him that we aren’t interested in partnering but if we have questions about India or can’t find some slums that we will definitely call.
The awesome meeting was with this organization that does development with engineering. They have technology for bio fuel—converting organic waste (you can insert whatever word you would like in there) into fuel, cutting costs to 1/3 for basic cooking fuel needs, a solar lantern program that can light a whole village, and a reverse osmosis water filtration technology that will clean up 500 liters of water a day. We are definitely working with them and are going to try to get on the tipping bucket to fund one of these projects in one of the outlying villages.
We also got our house. We didn’t get the most awesome deal but it’s in a great location and safe so we are happy with it. We move in tomorrow.
Posted by Kristen at 10:30 PM