People don't dance no more, they just stand there like this. They cross their arms and stare you down and drink and moan and dis.
on Why Did the Tofu Cross the Road (India), 07/Jul/2010 12:05, 34 days ago
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IPAP MeetingLucy, Jen and I all attended an meeting for IPAP( International Partnerships Agreement Programme) which equates to a network of NGOs in Orissa. The meeting was held over two days at HHI... which coincidentally is the hotel with the night club where we dance. It was interesting to see the place in the light of day. The goal of IPAP is for all civil society associations to come together and work together for advocacy programs that address social exclusion. Now, it seems to me that us volunteers were invited to see how it all works but were not encouraged to really participate. We mainly just sit there to give the appearance of an international presence. That's fine with me because I think the ideas and game plan should come from the NGOs themselves.Not a conference without a banner.I have issues with these sorts of conferences.... for one they never start on time. Once we had one start over an over and a half late just waiting for people to show up. Usually these things run behind schedule and you end up skipping sections and discussions entirely. Second, they are always in nice hotels...nicer than they have to be and I feel that the money in these programs should and could be better spent. Everyone likes conferences and they may be a perk in the corporate world but for the non-profit and NGO sectors they can be frivolous. How do you justify these lavish events to your donors? So after two days of discussion I am not really sure what conclusions were reached.OAB Presentation.The one thing I made note of was how they plan to continue their planning and discussion: email. This is a sore note for me because the NGO that proposed the idea has yet to respond to a very well written, researched and helpful email that I wrote to them. They asked me to be involved with a software project and so I wrote to them and did not receive even an acknowledgment...They claim to have never received it which is an excuse I hear again and again... if you don't know how to check a junkmail folder then perhaps you shouldn't be using email as a means of communication for your NGO! After late meetings and lost emails I am totally unmotivated to help them with this project. I'd rather work for my NGO where I feel appreciated and valued. (Ok, bitch session over.)Meet HerculesI purchased a gently used bicycle from and existing volunteer and I have started riding my bike to work on the crazy streets. I got into a small accident on my first day riding to work. I met head on with a motor bike who was of course heading in the opposite direction on the wrong side of the road. I was on the shoulder (where cycles should be) and about to duck behind a rickshaw that was pulling out. The a motor bike came swerving around the rickshaw and slammed into my bike. The bike took the brunt of the trauma. I walked away with a few bruises on my shin. If a pedestrian had been there I think they would have sustained some more serious injuries. The bike is a little warped but I got him patched up.My trusty cycle.The name running across the frame of the bike is Hercules and after he so graciously saved me from getting hurt I think it seems appropriate to stick with that.Another 'typical' lunch at the OABLast Friday there was a buzz in the air about lunch at the OAB. Apparently a man decided to donate lunch to our organisation that day. I asked around but could not find out why exactly he had decided to do this. It looked to me like the food actually came from a temple because it had been cooked in clay pots. There were various veg curries and tonnes of rice. Everyone at the OAB filed in to our "special events" room and took a seat in a very orderly fashion without being directed. I help set out plates and scooped food for as many as I could before I was told to sit down and eat myself. I enjoyed pitching in and making sure that my VI peeps get fed before I can sit and relax. The food was really good and I hope that we can have it again soon.Various veg dishes that all sort of look the same... tastes were very distinct though.Rice getting portioned out.The final product.Song from title:Whoo! Alright- Yeah... Uh Huh