This morning when I met with Dr. Panigrahi, he told me that he came to my room last night. The day before he had told me that at midnight, for the holiday, someone climbs to the top of the temple. He is given land for this and his only job, once a year, is to climb the temple for the celebration. People fast until then. Unfortunately, I had my headphones on and was reading a book, so I didn’t hear him come to get me to go watch. Ugh, that would have been awesome to see! I was a little disappointed, but today has been great. Met with Bijay who I will be working close with, especially when Dr. Panigrahi leaves. We are hoping to put on a training session for the field workers to go over the questionnaires. I’m looking forward to that. This morning I went on a quick walk to check out my surroundings. It was dusty and reminded me a lot of the walk I used to take to school when I lived in Liberia. A man who works here walked with me; he didn’t speak any English. He took me to a grocery store. They had Hershey’s chocolate and oreos and some ice creams and chips! I will definitely be going back there. Everyone told me that I could buy things over here like shampoos and soaps and etc. cheaper, but I packed everything. I guess that’s the preparedness in me. Dr. Pangrahi told me about a concert the 23rd. It’s with an Indian man who now lives in LA and comes here only once a year to perform. Dr. Pangrahi has seen him before so hopefully we can go to that.
This morning I got to meet Dr. Satpathy, my preceptor here at AIPH. Dr. Panigrahi held a meeting where I met a lot of the field workers, etc. The meeting went well; we discussed how we would get started in the next couple of days. I went to the hospital this afternoon; it was very interesting-I guess I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t get a chance to take pictures, I was only there for an hour or so to figure out where our study IDs were located (different sectors). I’m excited to get started going to the villages! It has been a great day, though I still haven’t gotten used to the time change. I will be going to be early tonight. I’m being fed well and taken care of. AIPH is super hospitable. Dr. Margalit was right when she said they will not let me do anything. I try to take my tray after I am done eating to the kitchen, even if I am half way there, the building “manager” makes me take it back to the table so he can take care of it. He is very nice and always smiles! Sorry if I have not gotten back to you via internet, the internet is not the best here, but I have no complaints! Hope you all are well :)
I have made it safely to Bhubaneswar. It was a terribly long flight with some rerouting issues. I had to home alone it quite often. I got to the Asian Institute of Public Health (AIPH) last night where I met the cook, the building watcher, and the IT guy. They were all very welcoming. I slept in two hour intervals last night and set up skype. This morning I had breakfast (toast and a banana) and switched rooms. My room is very nice-has its own private bathroom! I talked to Dr. Panigrahi for a bit this morning. Since it is a Sunday and tomorrow is a holiday, I won’t start my work until Tuesday…hopefully. After I went to the State Museum where I saw sculptures, paintings, stone carvings, history of the state of Orissa. Driving there was an adventure in itself. There seem to be no rules of the road; just honk and go. It reminded me quite a bit of cities in Guinea. The guy who was with me was very informative and led me around. I eat at the AIPH building. Lunch was good, I ate alone, fried fish and rice. I accidently took a four hour nap this afternoon where I had to force myself to get up. Dr. Panigrahi showed me around a bit tonight and I had chicken for dinner-yum. Day one has been great! I really enjoyed the museum. Pictures to come. I look forward to starting my work soon.