14 July, 2011

The Blog Goes On

I've been noticeably absent from the Blog lately, and for a variety of reasons. My computer crashing had something to do with it, but the real reason goes a bit deeper. Given the number of places we visited, we were trying to process information in real time so that we could use it to shape our other visits. So there wasn't as much time to record what we were seeing, because we needed to understand what we just saw and how that altered what we wanted to see at the next stop. And counter-intuitively, processing things that fast required designated time away from thinking about our trip. So, I left the blog in Tony and Kat's capable hands while I focused on coordinating the last few meetings, discussing topics with family members, and trying to let ideas come together. Luckily, our cousins were all willing to join us for a drink when our brains needed a break.

But now we're back in the States, recovered from any jetlag, and almost completely repaired. I'm yet to make it to Scottsdale since my car decided to break down immediately after my return. Thanks to a long story not worth telling, I'm waiting for a radiator to be sent from Arizona to L.A. so it can get put in my car and I can drive back home, a place I haven't been in 41 days.

Our trip may be over, but the ideas and experiences are just starting to be shared. Currently, the blog is only updated to halfway through our trip. We'll continue to update the blog, recapping our experiences in roughly chronological order, with some occasional detours to discuss what those experiences mean for our future business plans.

Jessica arrived on the same day Tony returned from Pollachi, completing the team we had assembled. Armed with Jessica's professional camera equipment, we set out on another whirlwind tour. We revisited Kudugal and Mysore, while adding a stop in Tumkur. The footage is yet to be seen, but the pictures are available on our site.

In short, the camera changed everything. Especially the combination of a blonde girl and a camera. Everywhere we went, Jessica drew a crowd. The crowd usually just stood and stared at her, wondering what she was filming. But it also drew reactions from the kids that our Flip videos could not.

The first thing we did after getting Jessica and Tony is meet with Pratibha aunty, who had recommended that we meet with Sister Celestine, Sister Theresa, and the Center for Sustainable Development. We rehashed our experiences, asked questions, and got her advice about where to focus our future efforts.

From there we headed straight to a family member's house for dinner and beers, before preparing to head to Tumkur the next day. As an educator, Tumkur is where I learned the most, so be sure to check out the upcoming entry.

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