Apologies for the radio silence – but rather than detail everything that has happened since my last post (which includes a short two week trip to India), I’ll pick right up with where I am now.
I arrived in Delhi this evening completely excited for a summer of research in India. With me are D and A, two fellow Duke graduate students. We will be launching the baseline survey for our USAID-funded project on improved cookstove adoption and correct use. Since D and A haven’t lived in India before (although they have lived extensively in other developing countries), I’ll get to help them adjust to everything that is India- a role I am looking forward to. One of our PIs will also be here for two weeks to direct the training of the field team, so I will have a much larger group of fellow researchers than in the past!
I can’t wait for delicious Indian food every day. I can’t wait to start running again – which I’m determined to pick back up in India after losing my routine in the US. I can’t wait to see what adventures are in store. I can’t wait to see the two project areas where I’ll be splitting my time this summer – Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. I initially wavered between excitement and resignation about this trip (since I would be gone the entire summer), but have fully embraced the decision to be here and to learn as much as possible and really dig into the work. I’m determined to make some progress writing papers while I’m here as well. With any luck, I’ll be able to gradually improve my Hindi as well, since it is the primary language in these two project sites, unlike the areas I have spent time in on my last two India trips.
I’m spending my first night in the second nicest place I’ve ever stayed in India (following some 5 star old hotel in Moussorie). It’s a guest house run by one of our field partners, and it is such a wonderful treat. Everything is clean, there is AC, and (even though it looked too nice to host any) my bed bug check brought up nothing remotely suspicious – the mattress if the most spot-free I’ve seen in India.
Here’s to a good night’s sleep and a summer to remember.