Tag Archives: development

What is an Indicorps Fellow?

In December 2009 I began my Indicorps’ adventure. A friend linked me to the application pages for a development experience unlike anything else out there. I wanted to volunteer abroad. On first impressions, Indicorps’ seemed the perfect opportunity. I go … Continue reading

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What have I done this year?

In A message home I wrote that my year in India has indulged childhood fantasies. I’ve been a jack-of-all trades; I’ve had the chance to try my hand at every job I wanted as a kid, except the astronaut part. … 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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Community immersion, trust, and apathy

He lurched across the courtyard. I’d never seen him like this before, staggering into groups of well-wishers, cursing his friends indiscriminately, and stopping to retch on his graceful exit from the shaadi. He wasn’t the only one drinking. From the … Continue reading

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International Day Against Homophobia: Who is fighting for you?

Today I came out in Rajasthan. It was a tense, meticulous, and emotional conversation – like telling my family – but this time in a village in rural India. The reaction of my colleague was exceptional: ‘It’s a private, personal … Continue reading

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My experiences with psychologists

Here at RMKM psychologists are in large demand. They are also very, very well respected. I think, given the admiration they receive and the awe in which they are held, they are considered equitable to rocket scientists and brain surgeons … Continue reading

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Ice-cream ‘chores’

Last night a few children started a commotion in the corner of the resource room. They were looking outside at the perimeter wall, but when I went over to look I saw nothing. A few minutes later another of the … Continue reading

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What am I here for?

This is my most recent public column, written for Indicorps. When I’m cold, I wallow in self-pity. When I’m hungry, I’m grumpy. And when I’m tired, I’m cantankerous. Cantankerous. For the last few months, I’ve been cold, hungry, and tired. … Continue reading

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Hunger

I’ve never been so hungry as I am here. Not now, not before dinner, but all the time. For my slim build – my cravings for meat and my super-metabolism – food here just doesn’t work. Yesterday I visited Mayo … Continue reading

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