MIIS Program: Public Administration, Fall 2016
Traveling during J-Term to: Salinas, CA
A look at a past immersive learning experience…
Field research in Ahmedabad, India
A daily task that you had to do differently? Bathing. I would fill a bucket with water from a cistern outside at the back of the house. The cistern sometime had leaches swimming around in it so I would try to avoid catching any in my water bucket. Then I would pour the water into a steel container, put the container on an outdoor brick stove (most of the time, the fuel was cow dung patties.) I would wait for my water to get as hot as possible, then hurriedly try to pour it back into the bucket so I could carry it to the washroom as quickly as possible so it wouldn’t get cold, and take my bucket bath with a cup as fast as I could before the water got cold. I used to call it “speed bathing.”
A surprising sight? The variety of goods in the markets was always amazing, and seeing the myriad of grains, vegetables, and fruits that I had never heard of in my life was always a surprising sight. But then I would also see things like massive knots of tree sap used for incense, or mounds of fresh jaggery wrapped in jute. But once I picked up a fruit as I was trying to identify it, and much to my surprise the vendor cut it open and took out a fresh almond. That’s when I learned how almonds grow.