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September 16th 2006
Published: September 26th 2006EDIT THIS ENTRY

Hi everyone,
I have returned from the mountains and the land of dial up internet connections, so some of these entries may be a little out of order because I have to do them all at once.

As RUCHI is an NGO, they kind of have to schmooze around to get funding for their projects. One of their biggest partners is the Rotary Club. They have a lot of connections with the rotary club in New Zealand, and then connections with several India clubs in the surrounding area in Himachal Pradesh. So we took a trip to Kasauli, a town about 20 km (12 miles) away to give a presentation on a water project RUCHI built with rotary club funding (more about the project later).

Now, you may think, 12 miles, that's so close by. That's a closer distance than I used to live to my work. However, it took 1 hour to travel these 12 miles because we were going on a super curvy one lane road. In fact, I believe that I experienced about the most motion sickness i have ever felt in my entire life over those 12 miles. And the thing is, its
View of Sunset from KasauliView of Sunset from KasauliView of Sunset from Kasauli

The glowing thing is a lake
not like this is an out of the way place. All the roads around there are super curvy one lane roads with large trucks coming at you from the other direction and no guard rails.

But somehow I survived and we had time to check out the town, which was very cute and peaceful. Then I sat through the Rotary Club meeting. It turns out that Rotarians in India are the same as rotarians everywhere else, rich, privilleged, and looking for something to do with their money. These guys spoke the best English of any Indians I have met thus far. However, I can think of a lot worse things they could be doing with their money, and I think the Rotary Club organization in general has really made a difference, at least to RUCHI. It also gave me an idea of the kind of things I might have to put up with if I am interested in being a part of a small social work organization. I don't consider myself particularly talented in the schmoozing, i mean "networking" arena.

I also came across yet another old man. I wouldn't exactly say he was a "dirty old man" but it was not entirely clear to me what his intentions were. He was a rotarian and sat down next to me during the meeting. He was very excited to find out that I was from America and started telling me about all his relations that live their, which clearly is grounds for a strong bond between the two of us. Then he invited me back to his bungalow. To meet his wife. I told him he had to ask Dharamvir (the head of RUCHI, who has been hosting me). Apparently he told Dharamvir he wanted to ask him about roof top rain water harvesting, something RUCHI is good at. So even though we were totally exhausted and wanted to go back home, we had to stop at this old guy's bungalow. It did turn out to be pretty cool, although no mention of rain water harvesting was ever made. Apparently the bungalow used to be owned by some Englishmen about 150 years ago, and has been kept in pretty good shape. They had an old record player and we picked out some ancient records with recordings in mono that we played. The whole thing was kind of bizaare.

Anyway, thats it for Kasauli.


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