Zafirah: Orientation Week

The first week of orientation was spent getting to know the city. Sightseeing, learning basic Hindi and familiarizing myself with the public transport system. I was especially excited about that last one, because I wanted to be as local as I could. No doubt I was nervous about making my way to the IHD office the first time alone. Felt like such a great accomplishment when I did! I think I entertained a lot of people and cows that day, the unsure way I was walking around and mixing up my Hindi.

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There was also a trip to the Old City, which I loved! Narrow lanes… colorful spice bazaars… and equally colorful women hawking their goods on the pavement.

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I also met my host family and moved into my new house! I certainly didn’t expect such a lovely place with an amazing room on the roof. I basically have the rooftop balcony all to myself, with a private bathroom and view I instantly fell in love with. The roof looks out onto a sandy neighborhood that looks like a bunch dusty brown boxes messily stacked around and on top of each other. Sitting with a book and some chai in the open air at sunset has been pure bliss. The houses are bathed in the most glorious hues and I could just pinch myself at how lucky I am to be living in India.

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