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.
I will be going abroad again. I am going to be staying in Bhubaneswar, Orissa to conduct my research for my capstone/service learning project (basically a thesis for my masters). I will be looking at the impact of neonatal infection, mainly sepsis, on childhood growth. There is a new concept called ’infectobesity’ where an infection during the neonatal period can induce inflammation which in turn can be a causal factor for obesity. I will be visiting rural villages in Orissa to interview families of children who had an infection and a match control of those who did not have an infection. My sample size will be small; therefore, I will be looking at trends as well. As I am preparing to leave for India, I can’t help but think of all the things I learned from living in Guinea, West Africa: patience, optimism, and open-mindedness. I will try to post on this blog as much as I can throughout my time in India. I am very excited to get started, so stay tuned!