Yesterday was a मेला (mela), or fair, on campus. There were some organizations there who are run by or who support minority/disadvantaged groups – KKM Colony, which is a leper colony known for their soft furnishings/fabrics (and from whom I bought a purple and orange shawl/scarf), Himalayan Weavers (a group of women who produce fair trade woollen & silk textiles, using natural dyes, who are dedicated to fair trade & some of the profits go to education & health in the villages they work in), Chhaya Cafe (a cafe started up and, I believe, run by/the profits going to support women who have been in abusive relationships/marriages), a couple local Christian churches, and I’m not sure what the rest were affiliated with… haven’t been here long enough! We also picked up some spices from a group who helps disadvantaged kids – spent Rs209 for 560g of spices (or, about $4.60 in CAD/USD for 560g/19.75oz of spices). Go to the grocery store, and tell me how much 100g/3.5oz of turmeric costs… ^_^
Today, Adam and I will be going out with Sabrina, who is a Canadian woman who has done social work in India before, and is a dorm parent in one of the girls’ dorms. Since Adam and I have been told we may be changing residences after some staff leaves, we’re not going after appliances, pots & pans, etc. but more interested in getting comestibles, new pillows (we have ‘rock’ and ‘padded rock’ currently), and I’d like to get measured to have a few salwar kameez made.
It’s a 10-minute walk from the school gate to our residence, and it’s uphill. The school is at an average of 7000m, and I’m inclined to think we’re closer to the 6800-7k point than the 6500 point; we’re “up”, versus “down” (where Hostel and some of the other residences & dorms are) — for anyone familiar with Woodstock, we’re a few steps uphill from Edge Hill. If we’ll be changing residences, we do NOT want to be dragging our baggage (or having coolies* drag it) and additional acquisitions, more than just “what we really really want for the next 2-3 weeks”.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section… there may be questions people have about what Adam and I brought, or regret bringing, or the like that we just don’t think to address. 🙂
*we have been told that ‘coolie’ is not a derogatory term here. It’ll take some getting used to, like being told you should have catapults to keep the rhesus at bay.