Monday, June 22, 2009

New York to New Delhi

My stomach usually figures out that I'm nervous before my mind does. My thoughts have been on smaller things -- buying a pocket knife, the weather in Helsinki for our 10 hour layover. But my stomach tells me that these next six weeks are something I have no way to prepare for.

I've been to India nine times now. I've been in the mountains and stood in sweaty lines at temples. But I've never slept in villages, tilled the soil of desi farms or spent hours with children that have swollen bellys from malnutrition. I've never stood in 108 degree heat if it was not in transition from house to shopping.

And while I've studied about corrupt Monsanto seeds and Gandhian philosophy in the air conditioned auditoriums of UF, the practice of something so simple yet intense is going to be much different. How will it feel when I see the weathered faces that result from greedy multinationals?

So here I go, with less luggage than I've ever traveled with and less sure-footedness than I'd like to admit. With two days of internet in five weeks and a cell phone that will only work sporadically, I will be connected in an entirely different way. Stay tuned.