A Travellerspoint blog

India and Neptune Day

The first day in India I had a field lab for my economics class. We visited a spice refinery, which may have been interesting but I was too busy trying to breath to appreciate it. They were boiling the pepper
that is the main ingredient in pepper spay, so even with a mask it was hard to breath.
The second day in India I went shopping with Aley and Kim. I got a sari, and lots of tea.
The third days I went on a field program organized by SAS. We drove
7 hours into the mountains to camp and hike for three days. The tea plantation in the mountains were absolutely stunning. We hiked a little that evening, and all day the next day. We stopped and played volleyball with some kids, and at the end of the hike we arrived in a small village that I wrote about with the pictures. We camped in tents (pictured), and all of our meals were made at the campsite. There were fifty SASers on
the trip so I got a lot closer with friends I didn't know that well before. On the last day I had a field lab for Human Sexuality. We went to
two hospitals and got lots of information about sexual practices in
India. Fun facts: condoms cost less than 2 cents each, a month of birth control pills are 3 cents, abortions are free, and the government will
pay you $30 to get sterilized if you are in the lowest social class and have already had two children.
I have mixed feelings about India overall. I didn't feel welcome
most of the time, but it may have been a miscommunication in body language. In the village at the end of the hike I went up to a Sari shop and the people there said "by, by." In combination with their body language I thought they were saying "bye, bye" and I was a little
offended that they didn't want my business. But later I realized that
they were probably saying "buy, buy," and I just didn't understand their expressions.

This week we crossed the equator and celebrated with an old maritime tradition of honoring the god Neptune. Monday morning they woke us up
with drums parading down our hallways. We went up to the pool where they poured blue goo on us, then we jumped in the pool, kissed a fish, and kissed King Neptune's Ring. Then everyone had the option to shave their heads, a few of my guy friends took the opportunity. Now there are bald people everywhere! This is my first time in the southern hemisphere, and we are on our way to Mauritius, the furthest point of land from California.

Posted by juliaaugh 20:31

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