Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Challenge Accepted

(a recap of March and April: a t-time revival)

The following outlines ten blog posts we intended to write over the past two months:
  1. An east to west coast flight landed us in Chennai for the South and Central Asia Fulbright Conference, where Taylor presented his research . . . in a lungi!

  2. Feeling inspired and energized by insightful presentations and thought-provoking conversations, we boarded a plane to Nepal. We hit the jackpot with our guesthouse because the owners were hosting an art show with FREE wine and food. We took full advantage. 

  3. Not ready to take on another day in the people-packed streets of the capital, we ventured south to a homestay in the midst of rice paddies – the profits of which support The Children’s Home, an orphanage down the road. The house was dreamy and the children adorable. Tiffany attempted to smuggle several children.

  4. We took a brief intermission in Bandipur (about two hours west of Kathmandu), where our bus was water balloon assaulted by ten year olds, in their raging excitement for Holi (“the festival of colors”).

  5. We continued our excursion west to Pokhara, where we launched our momo challenge . . . oh, and our 18-day trek around the Annapurna Circuit. Thanks to our guide, Bishnu, we successfully consumed over 360 (literally) Nepali dumplings and made it through the hike unscathed and inspired.

  6. Exhausted (and stuffed), we ventured back east to Kathmandu, where we recovered at a cottage/ farm-stay run by two French women. An authentic Nepali experience.

  7. With Indian schools reopening after an intense month of exams, we decided it was time to get back to the motherland. Compelled to expand our research to the northeastern states, we set off for the terraced hills of Darjeeling.

  8. We continued north from West Bengal to Sikkim. Work collided with play, and before we knew it, we were back on the trail for six days. Oops.

  9. Rejuvenated by the serenity of the Himalayas, we threw ourselves full force back into the “thick of it” with our next destination: Kolkata. We were greeted with a suffocating 108-degree heat wave, which resulted in Taylor breaking out in a serious heat-related rash. One doctor consultation, three cream applications, and a cold bottle of wine later, the sun-bumps dissipated, and we were able to resume with our plan: a school visit facilitated by Bishakha, former DAT Fulbrighter.

  10. Finally, we made our way back “home” to Mysore, where the analysis of data and the crafting of curriculum commenced.

Lately, we (read: Tiffany) have been obsessed with challenges. The original proposition for the month of May was the idli/ dosa challenge, which involved consuming at least one of these South Indian delicacies every day for 31 days. Unfortunately, the Kolkata rays got the best of us, and we arrived back to Mysore a bit ill. (Yes, this smells like an excuse). While we fully intend to make up for these lost days, we are already coping with feelings of failure. However, in order to boost morale, we have decided to take on another challenge: a blog post EVERY day for the last 12 days of May.  Since we don’t have the best track record with prompt posts (or prompt anything, for that matter), we are setting our expectations low: a photograph, a brief video clip, an excerpt from our research findings. We’ll keep you posted.* Hopefully.

 Thanks for joining us for t-time.  
*Please re-read this sentence.  Tiffany thinks this is hilarious and wants to ensure everyone gets it.   

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