I arrived safely around 4am this morning after a three hour bus ride from the Hyderabad airport. I was and am still so excited to begin exploring but unlike other work and study abroad experiences I've had, this one is more structured. We were told not to walk past the main road on our own today. I know one reason is because there are increasing tensions in Andrah province between the North (Telangana) and South (Andrah) who want to separate. I can't help but feel antsy and confined, but I have to remember that I came here to learn first, adventure second.
After a few hours of sleep, and some chapati, banana and potato chutney for breakfast, we went for a walk outside the grounds of the Bala Vikasa training centre, where we are living and having our classes. It feels really nice to walk around with my sandals again and the heat is dry so it's quite nice.
In a nearby park there was about 30 or so young boys playing many games of cricket and seemed only too eager for us to join in, if not to laugh at our inability to hit the ball. I'm trying to pick up a little Telugu, the provincial language, but it's a bit confusing. Nipee ruenti? Heather. Something like that. I also realized that I don't do well remembering names here. But lots to work on! And I'm working on my nod/sway - which everyone here is fond of doing to meaning something like "sure, whatever" or "unsure." Clearly I haven't got the hang of it yet.
Classes start tomorrow morning from 9-5pm and the rest of the participants are gradually arriving today and tomorrow morning from different parts of India and Nepal, as well as South Africa. I've taken a few pictures, but I'm pretty sleepy still so I might go nap and tour more later.
And I was happy to see the tuk-tuks (here called autos) and hope to learn to drive one in my spare time, the same three wheeled open cars from Tanzania. Also for the foodies out there: it's a little funny getting used to the curries and chillies here, especially eating spicy food in the morning, but the lentils (dhal) are awesome. And I've also had some delicious plain yogurt, chapati flatbread and fruits.
So I'm staying hydrated and enjoying the sun, but missing skating on the canal just a little bit.
Until next time, lots of love and hugs.