Wow, what a city! Mumbai is huge with so much waiting to be discovered! I’m glad I have a few weeks to explore and get to know my way around. I am living in Colaba which is located in Southern Mumbai. It’s a really nice part of Mumbai, and is known to be one of the more affluent areas of town. Mumbai in general is an expensive city to live in but that doesn’t stop hundreds of laborers living in the rural parts of India from moving to the city to find work. While there is extreme wealth in this city with one family owning an entire skyscraper, there is also extreme poverty, and I see it everyday I walk outside. I have only been able to explore parts of Colaba, and some of the beautiful colonial-era buildings in the city, but I’m sure I will try to get out further once I get more settled.
My trip to India ended up being a little more spontaneous than I had intended. Originally I was going to work in Kolkata for an NGO that uses dance therapy to help victims of violence or sexual abuse. A friend had recommended it, but communication with the NGO was very unreliable. I did not know anyone that lives in Kolkata, and I did not feel comfortable going there with an NGO that I couldn’t rely on for help with accommodation. Finally, I decided to go to Mumbai where some family friends live and stay with them until I can find my own housing. This past month I have been contacting NGOs in Mumbai and I met with Pratham, a child education NGO yesterday who has a project for me while I do my own research. I am meeting with at least one more NGO today just to give myself some options but I will keep you all posted on how the work is going. Yesterday, I also contacted a broker who showed me some flats in Colaba where I can live for the rest of the 5 weeks that I am here. I am looking at one other place today, but will probably be signing for a room that I will be sharing with another girl which is part of a flat that I will be sharing with about 6 other girls. It will be good preparation for next year at Michigan where I will be housing with 7 other girls! I will write more about how all that is going once I move in… I hope my roommate and I will get along!