Monday, 21 January 2013

Weekend in Arangabad

January 19-20, 2013

This weekend, our group took a 2-day trip to Arangabad to see the famous Ellora Caves, a silk factory, and the Taj Fort. Our Saturday started off earlier than we would have liked and we sat down to our usual breakfast of white bread, bananas, and hard-boiled eggs. It may be a while before any of us look at these foods the same way.

Amazingly, all 16 of us piled into two large jeeps. They accomplished the goal of driving for 4 and a half hours along mostly paved roads through both mountains and busy downtown streets; but still, all of us welcomed the stops where we could get some fresh air and load up on our Dramamine. We especially took advantage of the random coffee shop/convenient store right off the highway – and I’m sure they appreciated the business too. You’d be amazed how delicious a $1.50 latte tastes after weeks of drinking nothing but water and chai tea.

Just when it seemed like the bumpiness would never cease, we pulled into Arangabad at a small restaurant for a traditional lunch of chicken and rice. We needed our strength to brave the caves, so we didn’t feel too bad about ordering some big bowls of ice cream too.

At the entrance of the caves, we experienced our first monkey sighting. They were relatively tame (probably due to the high volume of tourists that they frequently come into contact with) and you can be sure that we took copious amounts of pictures. One guide even offered us monkey food so they could eat out of our hands, but our vigilant program leader shooed him away before we got the chance. It was probably for the best – I know I’m not up to date on my rabies vaccine.

Then we got a guided tour of the caves. “Caves” may be a misleading term, as this was more of a large mountain that had been carved out hundreds of years ago, with beautiful architecture and statues of Hindu gods and animals decorating the insides. At times it seems as though a large group of white women is more of an attraction than the actual caves – many people were more interested in posing in front of us, asking us to take pictures with them (not OF them), or just plain staring at us. We’ve learned to just accept that we are just too beautiful to not be stared at all the time. Right..?

After our cave exploration, we took another (mercifully shorter) bus ride back to our hotel. We knew it was going to be a step up from our sleep away-camp-style sleeping and bathroom situation, but
we were not prepared to be in a 4-star quality hotel. There was a spa in the basement, a roof with a
stunning view of the city, and a bountiful dinner buffet. We felt like royalty as we ate our good food,
took our hot showers and slept in our comfy beds with REAL pillows. Then, we acted like typical college girls for a few hours as we sat together in one room and played games. It was a glorious way to end our eventful day.

The breakfast buffet was just as good as dinner, and a welcome change from white bread. We also
bombarded the cappuccino/chai tea latte machine like it was our job. As long as it’s included, why not get our money’s worth?

We hopped on the bus again, this time to the silk factory. “Factory” is another one of those relative
terms – it was a big room with tons of equipment, but only one employee was working on a woven
shawl. Watching how laborious the process of making one shawl is really makes you appreciate manual labor and justifies the amount of money you ultimately pay. And next door is where they count on you taking sympathy on the weavers. There was a giant warehouse of various woven garments and furniture decorations: ties, scarves, table runners, placemats, pillow cases, saris – all made with silk (some 100%). Many of us spent at least half of our remaining rupees, but we agreed that it was worth the splurge. Get ready for some luxurious gifts, Moms and Dads!

Our last tourist stop of the day was the Taj Fort. This time “fort” is an accurate description. Stone walls surrounded a large perimeter, and supposedly did a very good job of keeping out intruders hundreds and hundreds of years ago. We saw more amazing architecture, and even walked through a small bat cave. We treated our flashlights as lifelines – it was pitch black and we could hear the ominous squeaking of bats coming from the ceiling. It was an interesting feeling to say the least. Then, we were told that we could walk 300 stairs to get to the top of the fort if we were feeling up to it. Some of us jumped at the opportunity to finally get some exercise, and some of us were just lamenting the fact that we had to wear long pants. We could all agree though that we wished we were at least wearing sneakers (we were told we didn’t need them. Lies.). Many excruciating steps and some dirty flip-flops later, we were face to face with a stellar panoramic view of the whole fort and the outskirts of Arangabad. We could only stay up there so long, though, because it was 2:30 p.m. and our breakfast seemed like a distant memory. We dodged dozens more photo requests from random people on the way back down (they never end!) and were finally reunited with the rest of our group.

We were treated to another tasty late-afternoon lunch at a roadside restaurant. All I can say is that it’s
going to be very upsetting when we get back to the U.S., where bottomless baskets of naan bread are
unheard of. Who says girls don’t eat carbs?

We reluctantly piled into the backseat of our faithful jeeps and mentally (and medically) prepared
ourselves for the long ride back. At least the scenery along the highway is fun to look at, because you’re crazy if you try to read in the back of a bumpy jeep cruising swiftly down India’s questionably paved roads. Nevertheless, we all made it back in one piece and definitely appreciated our weekend getaway.

Continued Learning at CRHP

Friday morning, we finally got to tour CRHP's hospital.  Two of the interns took us around and explained how the hospital works.  The hospital, in line with the Jamkhed model, works to provide care at the lowest possible cost.  Family members are important caregivers while their loved ones are in the hospital.  We got to see the maternity ward, operating rooms, ICU, and both the female and male wards.  There were only five patients on this day in the hospital, yet as the interns explained, some days are extremely busy!  Many families in the area have migrated for seasonal work and therefore this is a slower time for the hospital.

One of the patients we met was a 10 month old baby girl named Nikita.  She came to the hospital a few months ago with a severe infection on her right leg and has had various operations to ensure she will have normal functioning.  She is very sweet and loves to smile.  Another patient we met is named Reshma who has been living in the hospital for two years.  She came to CRHP when 60 percent of her body suffered severe burns and has become somewhat of a poster child for the hospital and visits other patients daily to cheer them up.  She loves to paint and draw and her pictures were beautiful.

In the afternoon we talked about mental health with Shobha which was very interesting because of the differences in problems faced by Americans and Indians in this aspect of health.  We also were given an assignment called Dream Island through which we split into three groups and were challenged with creating our own society from scratch.  The scenario was that there were only 50 people left on an island, and it was our task to come up with an island name, guidelines, flag, national anthem, and spirituality component.  It was a fun activity and more challenging than many of us had expected.

Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday morning brought us back to work on the compost pit.  With the digging complete, we moved on to building the brick partitioning walls and lining the six pits with plastic.  We got to learn how to lay bricks!  It was a lot of fun and so great to see progress being made.  This compost system will hopefully be used by CRHP as a demonstration site for villagers to come see how things are done so that they can implement similar systems in their own communities. 

After lunch, we had a session with the Young Farmer’s Club and learned about their impact in various villages.  We also learned about CRHP’s system called Participatory Rural Appraisal through which they track village progress and assess the living patterns (this helps them create maps and better understand how the caste system is impacting individual villages.

On Thursday we split into two groups and each traveled with members of the Mobile Health Team to a CRHP village (better known as project villages).  My group was able to walk around with a VHW named Pushpa as she did her daily visits.  We got to see how Pushpa checked a diabetic man’s urine sugar using a simple method as well as see a prenatal check up with a 21 year-old woman who was nine months pregnant.  We also visited the preschool in the village and the primary school, where 43 boys and 43 girls attend school every day.  A few of the girls performed a song and dance, and all of the children were friendly and happy to see us.   We also saw the government’s water truck delivery and watched with awe how people (mostly women and children) loaded their buckets and pails, and then hurried with them carried on their heads to drop off the water at home and return back for more.  Considering the three year drought, this is a really beneficial system and the water truck goes to the village every other day.  The villagers really appreciate this and do a great job conserving the water they receive.

In comparison with the non-CRHP village we visited during our first few days here, this village was much cleaner and the people seemed to be much more productive.  There was less waste accumulation and we noticed less animals wandering freely.

In the afternoon, we sat in on some of the training for the VHWs and observed how they use songs, dances, skits, and visuals as teaching and learning tools.  We were even challenged with coming up with our own dramas and visual tools on the topics of gender equity and mental health.

NCP's Mahila Melava

On Tuesday, we had the special opportunity of traveling to Ahmednagar to attend what we originally were told was a “meeting” with the Tribal Minister of Health for the State of Maharastra. However, we were greeted by hoards of women in sarees under a large grounded tent. We were quickly ushered into the government building, up the stairs and into a conference room where we met Supriya Sule, a congresswoman for the Nationalist Congress Party. She is a big supporter of women’s rights and empowerment, and we shortly learned that the event was actually a rally of over 5,000 women waiting to hear her and other members of the political party speak. After meeting and speaking with Supriya shortly, we headed to the tent to observe the ceremony. Unfortunately, all of it was in Marathi so it was difficult to follow along. Different women put on skits and shared their stories with poems and speeches and the women in the audience were very passionate and vocal with their approval of the program. Topics discussed included the importance of education, female foeticide, and the recent sexual violence throughout India.

About two hours later, we exited the tent to head back to CRHP when we were swarmed by many news crews who wanted to interview us. We were very confused because we didn’t quite understand why they would be treating us like celebrities. Many Indian people were trying to talk to us as we walked through the crowd, and many took pictures with their camera phones. We later learned that our presence was greatly appreciated because in a way, we represent the rights that these women are fighting for and while it seemed strange at the time, we were guests of honor for that reason. The Minister of Tribal Health’s personal assistant found us and took special care to bring us back to the conference room where more Indian staff and visitors gathered to take pictures with us and to wrap our heads in hot pink turbans to represent their appreciation for our attendance at the event. Thinking the day was over, we began to head back to the car but instead were thrown a curveball when we were all led on stage in front of thousands of Indian women to sit behind Supriya as she gave her long awaited speech. All in all, it was a great experience and one that none of us will forget.

On the way home, we stopped for a long awaited lunch at an Indian hotel where we were served traditional foods that were spicier than what we are used to at CRHP but extremely delicious! After  a long bus ride home, we caught the very end of a lesson on holistic/natural remedies by Shobha and went to bed exhausted.

Catching Up...

Sorry it has been a while since we have written! The past week has been very busy and exciting, and WiFi is not always reliable. Here is a recap from where we left off in the last post:

  • ·         Session with Shobha about the purpose and operations of the preschool
  • ·         Visited cattle market in Jamkhed – Saw many decorated cows, bulls and goats for sale.
  • ·         Walked through farmer’s market – Street vendors crowded the market with fresh and colorful produce and goods.
  • ·         Visited CRHP organic farm. Here we learned about the crops and their uses in rural India as well as how the farm is used for rehabilitation purposes for women and families. We witnessed the vermiculture composting (worms) and got a tour of the farm including the fields, animals and facilities. We even got to ride a bull cart and milk a cow! We were also able to meet the very inspirational farm manager, Ratna, who told us her powerful story about her struggle with HIV and how working on the farm has turned her life around.
  • ·         Dined on the rooftop with CRHP director, Ravi. Beautiful view of the stars accompanied by a yummy meal. (With our first sodas in weeks!)

  • ·         Many of us slept in, waking up to find we had missed French toast!
  • ·         Attended morning church service where both Indian staff/villagers and foreign visitors sang hymns together in both Marathi and English.
  • ·         Visited CRHP’s Helping Hands, where women can sell handmade products to support their families. Many of us bought beautiful souvenirs.
  • ·         Went into town to do some more shopping. Visited a shop of Pooja’s friend (the young woman who has done all of our henna) for more clothing. Some of us had our first Indian street food – a spicy potato patty served with bread. Yum!
  • ·         Met with Dr. Prem to discuss the findings of the latest group surveying Indiranagar who observed use of toilets and sanitation practices.

  • ·         Learned about tribal people and how CRHP has worked with them to provide healthcare and community organization.
  • ·         Saw how artificial limbs are made/applied and even witnessed a man who had just received an artificial leg learn to walk! Also toured CRHP’s demonstration site for soak pits which purify ground water after use inside homes.
  • ·         Departed for women’s festival in Jamkhed. We all wore our best saris and Punjabis to visit several temples which were filled with women and children. We were all mobbed with women who applied the traditional dot of red/yellow dye powder to our foreheads and who gave us sugar. The children were very excited for us to take photos of them. This festival celebrates the official beginning of “summer” as the sun passes over the equator into the Northern Hemisphere.
  • ·         Gathered in our room to play an exciting game of Trivial Pursuit.

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Here are some pictures from our time so far - unfortunately the internet is not cooperating to incorporate them into each post, but enjoy!

View from the entrance of CRHP.

A fairly calm part of town.

Temple in the non-CRHP village.

Some children playing at CRHP's preschool.

On the bus to school!

View of a government school from Indiranagar.

Area similar to a farmer's market in the town of Jamkhed.

Lots of Learning

Every morning at 8:30am, CRHP holds an optional worship service.  It is a brief meeting time led by Shobha where we come together to start the morning with prayer and singing.  It is also a chance to hear about the happenings of the upcoming day.  There are a few other groups staying at CRHP currently, so it is sometimes hard to keep track of where we are supposed to be and when!

We spent Friday mostly in the classroom setting, participating in various lectures and group discussions.  Our first was with Connie and the topic was the factors of health.  Going back to the basics, we broke down the determinants of health and discussed what good health looks like, often referring to the villages we have visited as a point of reference.  Following Connie's lecture, we got to be a part of a special ceremony for CRHP.  The Village Health Workers are here on Thursday for training, and spend most of the day on Friday here as well.  CRHP was inaugurating a mobile library to be kept up by staff and the VHWs and to benefit the people of the villages.  This is a project that everyone here is very excited about.

We then had a class discussion about maternal health, and after lunch heard from another VHW named Surekha about her story.  We were all very touched by her journey to becoming a VHW as she had to overcome many obstacles and hardships throughout her life.  CRHP saved her in a way, and she is now working tirelessly to save the lives of those in her community.  We are so thankful to have been able to hear from the VHWs as they are very inspiring.

After this, our Elon group had a personal session with Shoba on Women's Health.  We sort of ended up discussing instead Indian traditions and gender roles for two and a half hours.  It was such an informative and intriguing discussion, and we were all left speechless at times to learn about some of the past and present practices occurring here.  A long day of lectures ended with a game night with the other college students staying here.  We played a huge game of Catch Phrase and some other fun games!

Preschool and VHW

Hello everyone!

Our first week in India has continued to be jam-packed and exciting. On Thursday morning, we rose early once again and headed to our nowfamiliar breakfast of toast, eggs, bananas and some type of sweet Indian dish as well as tea. Directly after this, we headed to the preschool on CRHP’s campus to await the arrival of the 65 children who attend there. The teacher, Meena, lives on campus directly next to our building and we all crowded around her new baby, who was extremely adorable. The children slowly started to trickle in: some came withtheir parents on motorcycles and many unloaded from the large CRHP bus that some of us have been able to ride to the village and pick up the children in. They come from the poor slums of Indiranagar, the village across the street that CRHP has recently started working with. Some of the children were extremely outgoing and excited to see us, and immediately started playing catch, jumping on playground equipment and
hula hooping with us. Others were shy and stayed back, most likely overwhelmed by our presence in their small school. The walls were filled with familiar characters like Winnie the Pooh and The Little Mermaid, and some of the children wore shirts that displayed Angry Birds. While we couldn't communicate with the children in English, they loved playing with us and were fascinated by our cameras. Each picture taken had to be shown to them, and some wanted solo shots.

Once we settled down in a circle inside, Meena led them in several songs in both Marathi and English including one welcoming each of us by name to the class. The children seemed very happy and were extremely well behaved when given directions from their teacher. After Meena took attendance (almost every child was present), they broke into groups to work on puzzles, coloring and other activities. Shortly after, we left the school but not without many warm smiles and goodbyes from the kids. Many of us have seen them on our other visits 
to Indiranagar to do surveying for a professor here, and they remember us and come say hello.

After this, we went to a series of sessions on child health in rural  India. This was a special opportunity because it was led by one of the village health workers who come to CRHP every Thursday. We learned about several holistic home remedies to some of the common health problems in children like pneumonia and diarrhea, such as steam inhalation and making a lemonade solution for oral dehydration. Shobha then informed us in a more medical session about the types of problems they have seen most in children, with a heavy focus on malnutrition in poor countries. These ran until lunch, where many of us ate quickly and decided to embark on our first trip into town on our own!

We climbed into rickshaws, and the driver brought us to a corner in Jamkhed where we paid him our 20 rupees and then looked around in confusion. Although we had visited once before, this street looked
nothing like what we recognized so we just started walking. After breaking up into smaller groups of four or five, this turned into a great adventure. My group (Shelby, Megan, Anna, Tierney and Lilly) walked in the hot sun for about thirty minutes in what ended up being the wrong direction from the center of town. As soon as we figured this out, we turned around and made the long walk back. It was worth it, however, when we finally got our bearings and were in a farmer’s produce market in the center of Jamkhed with some great photo opportunities. Although the stares are inevitable here, it was pretty cool to be able to say that we had this experience all on our own.  We also found a great clothing shop right next to this where a few of us bought some tops and took pictures on a balcony overlooking the market.

Once back at CRHP, we went right into a session visiting with the village health workers as translated by Shaila, one of the CRHP staff. They took turns telling them about their care for the different vulnerable groups including pregnant women, infants and children. It was fascinating to hear from some women who have worked with CRHP for  over 35 years and done over 800 births in the community, with only a few complications. They demonstrated one of the traditional songs and dances that are performed after the birth of a child, using Professor Tapler as their actress. We also heard the life story of one of the women who had grown up in a Muslim community and become a child bride in a very poor domestic abuse situation and how she had found CRHP and turned her life around by becoming a village health worker. Many of these stories are very inspiring, and after this we also heard from another village health worker about her recent election to mayor of the village.

By that point, it had been a long and exhausting day. We went to dinner (some Indian influenced Chinese food of fried rice and spicy chicken) and many of us headed to bed to sleep, read or work on our reflection journals that were due very soon. A very long but great day!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Chugging Along

On Wednesday morning, we met with Annie and Vishnu (a staff member here at CRHP) to discuss our compost pit project.  We will be helping CRHP jump start a compost pit on campus to be used as a model for other villages.  CRHP has recently begun working in a neighboring village called Indiranager and would like to eventually implement a compost system in their community.  We decided to make an existing area deeper, and in addition had to clean out the areas removing trash and weeds.  It was tough labor considering the "dirt" was mostly large rocks due to the three-year drought going on here.  We all took turns using the Indian version of shovels, which was a lot more difficult than we had expected.  We spent about two and a half hours digging the pit, and then we were all nice and dirty!  For once, the cold showers felt great.

After lunch we had a class discussion about malnutrition.  It was very interesting to hear everyone's opinions and take into account all of the new information we have learned since being here.  When approaching these sensitive issues such as malnutrition or sanitation, there are so many factors to consider, and often times one type of intervention or solution will not be effective from village to village.

We then met with Dr. Prem, a researcher here who is working on collecting data in Indiranager.  He talked to us about different types of observation techniques and what to look for when visiting villages - indicators of health, etc.  We will be going in groups of four to collect baseline observation data to be used later on.  Our groups will be assessing child health, sanitation, and water use/supply.

Continuing our busy day, we met with some CRHP interns and  fellows to discuss their roles and responsibilities.  It was really cool to talk with them in a casual setting about their work here at CRHP.
Many of us are still struggling to understand how the Jamkhed model can be applied in other parts of the world.  It is such an incredible thing happening here in Jamkhed and in so many of the villages working with CRHP.  The staff members here are great resources and such nice people to talk with, constantly offering great advice to us as college students interested in pubic health.

We are finally sleeping through the night and getting used to the craziness of Indian culture.  We are loving every minute of our time here!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

First Experiences

Hi Everyone!
On Monday morning after most of us waking up several times throughout the night, it was FINALLY time to get up and go to breakfast. After eating some hard boiled eggs and some oatmeal looking thing we headed off to orientation for CRHP! We learned from the director Shoba about CRHP and the history behind it as well as how the Jamkhed model was developed and used for the villages surrounding Jamkhed. It was super interesting and we were all very excited to get started seeing the model in action in the villages. After that we went to lunch, which is usually the most traditionally Indian meal of the day. Its pretty spicy, even though they claim they tone it down for us westerners. What we were most excited for was our visit to the Jamkhed town where we would get to purchase and have made traditional Indian clothing. Driving into the town, you could see the health problems first hand with the lack of sewage pipes and people lining the streets waiting for rides or just brewing on the streets because they had no where to go. It was crowded, with cars flying every which way and goats, cows, dogs, chickens, and hogs roaming freely around the streets. It was a lot to take in. Once we got inside the store, the madness seemed to cool down until we walked up to the counters. Then, all of a sudden, fabric and shirts were flying onto the table and into our hands. It was a shopping experience that will never be matched or forgotten. Most of us had punjabis made which are a shirt and pant set and a few of us got sarees. We also bought scarves, lots of them. They were so beautiful and at about 2 dollars a scarf, most of us couldn't resist. So don't be surprised if that ends up being your or someone else's gift! Some of us stayed in the town to get our stuff tailored while the other nine of us (Amanda, Kate, Kaitlyn, Lily, Spencer, Kylee, Marie, Megan, and Shelby) squeezed ourselves into a single rickshaw, picture an old fashion clown car and you've pretty much got what we looked like. After that exciting ride, we had time to relax before dinner which was SPAGHETTI! After dinner we went back to our rooms and passed out early, knowing the night would be full of tossing and turning and bathroom breaks.

Tuesday morning, we rose early yet again, had breakfast, and at around 9:00 we got into vans and headed out for a non-CRHP village. It took us about 25 minutes to get there. Once we were there we split up into groups of six, each with a translator from CRHP. It was quite a moving experience. This village had a very noticeable caste system in place, most of us were able to see the homes of members of the middle class and the lower class, the dalits. Everyone in the village was so friendly and welcoming. A family even invited us into their home to have tea. Again, there were farm animals everywhere even a baby dear, the woman said they named him/her Bambi (lolz). While we were at the village we had got the chance to visit a pre-school and a primary school. At the primary school the children sang us two songs, one in Marathi and the other in English! All of a sudden they started singing "heads, shoulders, knees and toes" and doing the motions, so we had to join in! It was incredible how well they spoke English  It was then time to leave and head back to CRHP for a debriefing and lunch. The afternoon was also quite busy, we had a panel with members of the CRHP Mobile Health Team (MHT) and we had another session with Shoba where we learned about the caste systems in India. Following the session with Shoba we had our first public health issues in India discussion which was led by Katie. After a wonderful discussion on sanitation, or lack there of, in India, we headed to dinner. Once again, people got to bed pretty early which seems to be trend around here. In case you were wondering there is still one of us who hasn't showered since arriving in India, but we won't disclose any names at this time.

- Kylee and Marie

We are still having some issues adding pictures to the blog, but we are hoping to troubleshoot early tomorrow morning so that we can share some of the photos we have taken thus far!

A young preschooler at the non-CRHP village.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Getting to CRHP

After finally all meeting up at Newark Airport Friday afternoon, we enjoyed the luxury of the reserved room in the Terminal.  We shared our excitement regarding the few weeks ahead and ate our final American meals.  We boarded the plane, leaving the familiar behind and embarking on an incredible adventure.  Most of us were able to sleep on the 14 hour flight, while others spent their time reading and watching movies.  There were two meals served on the flight, both with Indian influences and flavors.  The flight attendants were very kind to us, wishing us well on our way and providing us with water bottles and snacks for the journey ahead.

Upon arriving in Mumbai around 9:30pm local time, we made our way to Customs.  We all got through fairly quickly and some of us had our first experience with Indian toilets  while others waited in longer lines for the "western style" stalls.  Claiming our baggage went fairly smoothly, with only one lost bag, which thankfully arrived at CRHP Tuesday morning.  Luggage in hand, we entered the busy outdoors of Mumbai for the first time.  Many people stared at our group of 17 American women soaking in the sights and sounds of a buzzing  city.  We met up with a representative from CRHP and he led us to the bus lot.  We waited about 30 minutes before attempting to cram into a small bus.  We were told it would be about another 3 hours before a second vehicle would arrive to carry our luggage.  Luckily, we were on our way to Jamkhed by 12:40am.

We were all given the opportunity to become well acquainted in the tight quarters of the "sleeper bus."  We also were exposed for the first time to the craziness of Indian driving patterns.  Even though it was nearly 1:00am, the streets of Mumbai were quite busy with people and animals.  Many people were standing in groups around fires, some were cooking, and many were even sleeping in the road medians.  We all were amazed at the ability of our driver to weave in and out of other vehicles and communicate with others on the road with only his lights and occasional honking patterns.  We stopped a few times for fuel and bathroom breaks, and some of us were able to catch some sleep, but for the most part we remained mesmerized by the Indian roads.

Around 6:30am we began driving on very rural roads as the sun was rising and people were beginning their days.  Women were cooking or cleaning on their porches, and children feeding their animals.  It was very exciting to finally see people in the villages in action.  We arrived to Jamkhed around 8:00am and were greeted by Annie, a recent Elon grad who now works at CRHP as a fellow for one year.  She showed us to our rooms, there are nine of us in one room, and just upstairs there are two rooms of the remaining seven.  We went to breakfast, which was rice, toast, and hard boiled eggs.  Although we were all very tired and could barely remember what day it was, we were so happy to finally be at CRHP.  We had some free time until our orientation at 12:30pm, during which time most people napped or explored the grounds a bit.  After lunch, we were given a brief tour of the campus and met a few staff members.  We discussed some of our scheduled activities, and watched some videos about history of CRHP.

We were all fast asleep by 9:00pm, a first for many of us busy college students, and woke up the next morning feeling well rested, excited and ready to begin our first full day at CRHP.

-Kaitlyn and Katie