Saturday, July 16, 2005

In Lucknow

We are in Lucknow, Internet access here is kinda sketch, but hopefully it will get better. This is one of the most conservative places we have been in India so far. There are very few women on the streets, many of the girls in our group feel uncomfortable because of the intense stares they get. Still, I do not feel unsafe. Lee, Jon and I got mildly lost in some isolated backstreets the other day towards dusk. With the exception of the raw sewage and grazing cattle in the streets (I have lost my fear of the motorized vehicles) I felt very safe. We have been getting a lot of lectures while here on culture, poetry and history. Yesterday we went to SEWA, an association designed to market the artisan skills of women and prevent explotation of their labor. I heard the founder of this organization has been nominated for the peace prize. Not only does it give the women their livelihood, but it also requires that they can read and write by providing education. The motto was "learn and earn." The girls in our group almost teared up as we were greeted by a large crowd of women singing songs of equality and prayer (a daily tradition that the SEWA group performs.) Last night Jon, Lee, and I were walking back to our hotel and we came across an Indian wedding. There were tons of people, a marching band, fireworks, guns fired, confetti, dancing, and a groom who was escorted to his horse. I don't want to say that we crashed a wedding, but Lee was totally getting his dance on. Besides, we blend in completely, I am sure nobody even noticed that we were not part of the family. Shout out to Mom, Sia, The Fam, the group, the office, CWU, and LW. Poke, no poke back.


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