Bryan in India

Bryan, a senior engineering student, is traveling to India for a tsunami reconstruction project on the southeast coast. He is working with Engineers Without Borders-USA on building sanitary water facilities for a village of about 35 families for six weeks.

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Dosa overload

So, I just dodged a bullet! Mom, not a real bullet, don’t worry.

So in my quest to find sustenance of a different variety, Auntie (our landlord) offered me some food for the second time today. In my efforts to stretch the remaining few rupees I have left before I have to go back to the ATM, I decided it would not hurt to eat some more of Auntie’s food, and heck, it’s free!

The food served hot out of the pan was dosa with some kind of vegetable soup. To try to explain dosa, it is similar to a thinner pancake, but fried and about the diameter of a basketball. I gratefully ate three until my stomach started waking up and fighting with me (Yes, those who know me, know that I can eat a lot; but here in Ongole, it’s hard). Anyways, after I try many attempts to not have her make anymore, attempts of waving my hands in a crisscross motion and saying “No thank you, I’m full (not that she could understand my English anyways),” she brought out two more. I begrudgingly ate the fourth dosa, with my head and eyelids drooping ever so slightly from the large amounts of food I have eaten throughout the day.

As uncle sat there flipping though the channels, while he was secretly making sure I eat every piece, he stopped on the channel with American music. Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ was playing, and to the amusement of Uncle he stated “He’s from your country!” almost as if he were mocking me. Thankfully, just before I thought I was going to pass out from the food, Auntie and Uncle went out front to converse with the neighbor. That’s when I had an idea!

Now don’t get me wrong, Uncle and Auntie are great people, but I feel bad if I don’t finish every piece of food, so what do I do?!? You guess it, I took the greasy, fried, half-eaten dosa, rolled and folded it and placed it nicely in the left pocket of my linen trousers. Why the left pocket? Well, the right pocket had my cell phone and the left had money, money which has most likely been through some rough times, and I figured some grease wouldn’t do any harm.

I did it, Auntie walked in 2 minutes later, very happy I finished the meal, and took the plates to wash. I was home free, I have never felt so liberated (or diabolical) this entire trip, and believe me, I know my stomach was thankful. So, upstairs I walked, and once I got to the balcony, I discarded the frisbee-size flapjack into the swamp/trash/cesspool next to our apartment (which turns out to be the only thing between us and a graveyard **we just found that one out**). I was home free and felt like I could conquer any task, which leads me to the next couple of entries, because they are going to be long.

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