Oh, dear readers. It has been so long since I have been able to post a blog entry, I am really having trouble knowing where to begin. I have already left my dear Jharkhand behind, after a 39-hour train ride from Ranchi to Mumbai. It was a week ago already that I left Jagriti Vihara, waving goodbye to the Mango Man and giving Anoop a hug and an early happy birthday.
Where do I begin, really?
I just spent six weeks living in the jungle, with snakes and scorpions and armed Maoists and routine blackouts, visiting villagers by motorbike and drinking chai from plastic cups in places where no white person has ever been before.
I learned enough Hindi to make friends with people who don’t speak English. I wrote a report by candlelight after the transformer blew and we had no power at all. I made the local newspapers, twice, entirely by accident both times. I went digging for truffles. I ate truffles, those wonderful godly things. I gave a speech to 1000 Indian boy scouts and girl scouts—a speech I was asked to deliver about 30 seconds before I took the podium.
So. It’s hard to sum all of this up or know how exactly to tell the tale of doing so many things I have never done before.
Let’s start with why I was there.