Still don’t have diarrhea. I figure this can be an important running sub-theme for my trip to India – the avoidance and precaution in the evil game of sloppy dumps. As my good friend Chad Harris tells me, imagine everything is covered in a thin layer of fecal matter and act accordingly. Thus, my days are filled with hand washings and the application of “poison” or, disinfectant hand lotion to the general public.
It’s friday now and we’ve reached the point in the trip where chaos reigns and plans change by the minute. Broadcast Team Two, which is my squad/posse/troop that rolls thicker than some hemoglobin, was supposed to be out in the Red Light District right now — filming the women that are imprisoned in caged rooms and the children that live there with them. But, as a result of recent trips there in the past few days, the pimps have become angry and taking out their frustrations on the women… It’s a sad irony of reporting the horrible conditions and livelihood these women take on as an act of survival (Working for $1.50 a day, Servicing up to 30-40 men a day, Impossibly horrid conditions that most americans wouldn’t let their dog dwell) and the secondhand results that happen because of our job. It is a tricky mental state you must engage in yourself in order to function and do your job of reporting the atrocity without being overwhelmed in light of some of the most terrible facets of humanity.
The kids we encounter in these areas represent the hope that is possible for the future. It reminds me of that stupid little email that was sent around in years past which had a .midi version of Enya’s ‘Sail Away’ and clipart graphics of beach items — A man walking down the beach at low tide spots a starfish stuck in the sand and about to die before he picks it up and hurls it back into the safety of the ocean. The same can be said as we hurl children into possibilities of a better life and livelihood that makes a difference, if even just for one of them (this sentence would most likely be edited anywhere else but this blog). Also, it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for these kids to smile in even the shittiest of circumstances… They are slightly prima-donna-ish I admit (joke) — they totally know how to work and pose for the camera. I have had more kids pose, then run up to me and whip my camera around to see the little screen with their image displayed.
Yesterday I went to a medical outreach and had a number of memorable little tidbits happen: I met a hundred year-old woman, if whom lived in some cleaner environment would be chillin and running marathons well into her 170’s, watched some tooth extractions, climbed to the very top of the church and saw before me the largest slum in Asia, proceeded to duck from kids hurling rocks at my head before laughing at Chad Harris who yelled “YOU WANNA GO?” before he began dancing like Beyonce. Looking out over Bombay was the stereotypical midpoint of this trip, reminiscing over the past few days and thinking of life back in st. louis as my feeble brain gawked at the contrast of the difference between where I was only a week ago. I noticed the thick haze everywhere before blowing my nose and finding the results to be less charming than usual. Pure black boogers accumulated from the nasty-ass haze that I was taking deep breaths of in a moment of triumph having just scaled the church. It’s quite a shock to have something the color of dark, brownish coal come out a hole other than your butt.
Other than that, I’ve met some funny missionary kids that I spend nights in the boardroom of the hotel with — drinking some dark espresso and listening to Indian house music, I’ve grown silly-tired of really good and extreme buffet style food every morning and night (Like i’m talking strawberry’s with chocolate tuxedo’s, creme brulee, whole ducks, and waiters hovering over your every breath/grunt/fart), viewed the interesting world of religious celebrities, made interesting concoctions of dessert that looks like baby barf with garnishes of fish eyes and toothpicks and sent them to the religious celebrities with my friend Chad Daniel and then proceeding to fall out of chairs in laughter when they look back quizzically.
I’m past the halfway point and ready to get out of a hotel. The suite life is not for me. I hope to eke out at least a couple more blog entries before I return, because you must be really bored if you’ve read this far. 🙂 Peace, love, and chicken grease.