Last Outing Together

Today was a relaxing day of sorts. We didn’t need to be out the door until 10 and I had gone to bed fairly early so I got up feeling fairly rested.

We drove out to the MGM resort (not quite as far north as the Great Lakes Institute) for a lunch with some of the students and faculty and had some further discussion about the value of the visit and the groups that went out and spent time with one another yesterday.

After lunch we headed back to the hotel and relaxed for a little bit and then some of us went out in smaller groups to do some shopping. There were a couple of gifts I had yet to pick up for folks at home and so I went out with three of the others in the class for all of us to do that…at a mall. Which felt terribly western on this our next to last day in India. To top it all off we had dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen…my first American food since getting to Chennai.

We came back and relaxed a bit until our tailored clothing arrived. I’m excited about the vest and shirts I got and love the look, and it was an amazing deal for custom-tailored clothing. We had planned to all get together one last time tonight but that fell through since two of us left early and we were all working to get packed. I got everything into the two suitcases I brought plus the spare duffel bag I picked up at IKEA right before I left Chicago.

Tomorrow I’ll check out of the hotel and head to the Chennai office of the International Justice Mission (IJM) for my second independent project visit. I could write the paper on either or both and I’ll figure that out after the visit.

After the visit most of the rest of the cohort will head to the airport, but since India won’t allow you into the airport more than 6 hours before your flight I’m going to get dropped off at the Chennai Hilton for a little rest, using some of my Hhonors points. One of the classmates who left early was originally on the same flight as me and we were going to hang out but now I’m going to try for a little rest and head to the airport after midnight.

My three interesting things for today:

  1. I held a sand crab in my hand at the beach. It was pretty cool. When I set it down it made a beeline for the water and moved a lot faster than I thought it could.
  2. At the beach…under poor translations: there was a sign that said “BEAWARE OF JELLYFISH”. It was interesting even without the poorly spelled translation of beware, since I’ve never been to a beach where there were jellyfish warnings.
  3. On the drive this morning I was struck with silly restaurant names. I’ve seen some weird ones in the U.S. but these made me chuckle nonetheless. If you’re in Chennai you can eat at either the ChickInn (I’m assuming their specialty is chicken) or the Bite & Chill.

Only one more post from in country, and then there will be a few from in route and after I return. I also have hopes that the classmates who posted pre-trip as guests on the blog will write something up post-trip.

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