Category Archives: Experiences

Indicorps’ year in review

Why Indicorps? Why India? I find passion in service, in work that is rewarded by wider values and in the gratitude of others. I yearn for adventure. I am motivated by challenges. I’m like a thousand other would-be do-gooders. Why … Continue reading

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Indian bathroom etiquette

My host-father hands me the empty canister, a plastic bottle with the top hacked off. It’s pretty grim. In Gujarati he explains – I suspect – that I should take the container to the floodwater lake, scoop up some water, … Continue reading

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India’s problem-solving problem

When a fallen tree obstructs the road, do you stop to move it? Or do you drive around it? Two days ago five child marriages took place in Chachiyawas, on my doorstep. Ten spritely children, blessed with potential, were needlessly … Continue reading

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Manish Guru

Manish was found by police in a village near the city of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on June 28. He is with his mother and will return to school in time for the start of the new term. Thanks to … Continue reading

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One-billion strong for equality

Last night same-sex marriage became legal in the state of New York, making it one of just seven states (including the District of Columbia) to offer gay marriage in the US. A while ago I tried to crunch statistics on … Continue reading

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Facing the heat

The desert brings a cruel partisan climate. I remember a freezing weekend spent building our Chula. Back in November I could barely speak Hindi; but those misty mornings with the children – breaking every rule of fire safety – were … Continue reading

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If I used Twitter…

Here’s 10 things I would have tweeted recently (in 140 characters or less) simonmcnorton Simon McNorton Ten months of cultural immersion concludes top development goal for Rajasthan is more shikanji. #UNDPmilleniumgoals #lemonade simonmcnorton Simon McNorton Just massaged camel manure into … Continue reading

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Four thousand miles

It’s the middle of Sunday afternoon. Four thousand miles away, I’d be in a green park on a sunny summer day. This morning I’d have taken the dogs for a walk with my dad, I’d have chatted to my brother … Continue reading

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My nalgene bottle and I

Here in India I have to downplay the cost of everything to avoid ridicule. On a recent work-related endeavour in Delhi I bought a USB-powered desktop fan to sit under my laptop and cool it. It cost Rs. 1100, but … Continue reading

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Karnatakan Expeditions

49 hours later I found a number 4 tempo, the penultimate leg of my 1700km journey home from Karnataka, deep in the Indian peninsular. I’d been in Karnataka for a week-long Indicorps’ workshop, an experiment into multiple thresholds of humanity. … Continue reading

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