Taxis, Pet Walking, it's been a week - Sierra Pogue

WOWZA. It’s already been a whole week of teaching?? I remember on Tuesday thinking how slow everything was going, and now it seemed like we have been here for a day and a half, which means we have been having fun!

I LOVE THIS PLACE. Seriously. When I get home, just understand that if I’m not saying much, it is because there truly are no words for how I feel. I was so scared to even come here on Wednesday afternoon before I left home, and I honestly cannot even remember why because truly the only thing to be scared of here is the driving (which isn’t even that bad, because I grew up with my Dad’s driving). But, because it is pretty difficult to describe this place, I have a list of things that are a huge change from the US… and these are just a few…

-Taxis: in the US the taxis are meant to hold 3-4 people, and are usually never full, and here the taxis (Toto’s) are meant to hold 4-5 and are usually seen cruising down the streets with 12-15 people… It’s actually pretty impressive because you have to be pretty good at Tetris to do that, and I am terrible at Tetris, so we could only fit 7 in the Toto. (oh and they have no doors so you have to hold on tight!)

-Pet Walking: In the US, people get all dressed up in their super cute Lulu Lemon jackets and run on the trails with their dogs that could fit inside a purse (not that theres anything wrong with their size) and here in India, people get all dressed up in their super cute Sarees and walk their cows, calves, goats, or other family farm animal of your choice.

-Driving: We literally almost hit someone or something 3 times too and from the schools. Its totes sketch, but super funny cause we somehow miraculously come out of the Tata’s alive. Also, our driver is way funny and plays his Indian jams, and makes a point of reminding us that his Tata (the brand of car) isn’t just a Tata, but a Tata Sumo GOLD!!! Lucky us!

-The Women: The girls who aren’t married always seem eager to talk to us, but the women who aren’t always seem so hesitant. I have noticed that the culture we are in right now is incredibly sexist—the women are totally treated like a second class citizen, and the men won’t even talk to women.

-The Men: Totally creepy, and totally staring all the time. Seriously. Whether they are taking our pictures while they think we aren’t looking, or following us around the village tours, they are hard core freaky. LUCKILY FOR US, our village team has Nick, who can be really scary if he needs to be, and two really tall boys/ ( and Dave and Steve who in general are freaking huge) compared to the 5’2” tall men who live here, so we are protected really well, AND our translator, Binah (pronounced Beana), literally rips apart anyone who messes with us or her, so it’s all good in the hood. Don’t worry. I’m safe.

-Air: It looks foggy all around us, like, all the time, and it’s just pollution. And the smoke of burning trash.

-Fuel: The main fuel source, believe it our not, is poop. They take it in their left hands and form hamburger-sized poop patties and stick them to trees, let them dry, and use them as fuel. Yummy.

-Swimming Pools: Today a little girl pointed at the swampy, nasty, opaque, green ponds in every villages, and said “swimming pools.” Enough said.

-Home Size: The average home size, is seriously about the size of my bedroom… and it is the home of like 6 people.

-Dogs: The dogs here could be compared to the rats of New York City, everywhere, and really active at night. Also, I’m pretty sure that they are all the same breed, and my dogs are way cuter, DUH.

-Celebrities: The people apparently have never seen a white person, so we are treated like the members of One Direction. They follow us, they know where we live (which is behind a huge metal fence, with huge spikes coming out of the top, that locks whenever it’s closed), they stop their cars and just stare, they want us to hold their very naked babies, they want us to come into their homes, and what would a celebrity be without their fan club, or in this instance a bunch of indian children. It’s actually pretty fun.

-Bathrooms: Gross, and you can’t flush anything ever, but on the bright side you get an amazing leg work out from all the squatting.

-How Clean You Can ACTUALLY Get: You shower, and scrub your body, face, hair, and feet, and if you get a baby wipe to wipe down your face, dirt will still come off your face. So if that grosses you out, we can hi-five at the airport, but don’t be that person, be nice.

As usual, everything is great, still no lice (as far as we know) and still no bug bites, so still no malaria. YAY. I don’t think I have ever been this tired in my tired in my life, but tomorrow I get to sleep in until SIX. O’CLOCK. #blessed.

Mom, I love you lots, and miss being able to talk to you all the time. You would love the kind people here. See ya in a week!!

Dad, You’d love it here, there are lots and lots of bikes, and would love all the spicy foods… It’s so good! I love and miss you so much.

Kendall, you would seriously die if you saw the girls room here. Bags, dirt, uniforms, shoes, everything all over the place, but you’d also love these kids. I keep thinking how much they’d love you.

Parker, There is so much “football” here and the kids are really good! I’d be interested in seeing a face off between you and Noah and them.

Noah, The art that the girls put on my hands in Henna remind me of you, it’s so intricate and cool to look at, just like your art.

Everyone, go have a good group hug for me and go get some Cubby’s while I’m gone! ;)

I love and miss you all!! I am so excited to share my pictures and experiences with you!! See you all soon! *inserts heart emoji twice*

Sierra Pogue

ps: shout out to Caden’s girlfriend, Abby Woods, because he talks about you frequently.

pps: shout out to my friends if your reading this cause you the real MVP’s… but comment cause I miss ya long time.