This was written during my 10-hour stopover in Hyderabad.
1. Indians serve ketchup with cucumber and tomato sandwiches and chicken pastries. At EFY I occasionally ate at the Cannon Center.
2. Over the past two days and four nights (I'm pretty sure the sun set four times...) I have slept for about 1-3 hour intervals whenever I could. Once I was asleep on the plane before we even took off. I have no idea how much sleep I am running on, what day it is, or what time my body thinks it is. Just before this, I was an EFY counselor where I slept in about 4-5 hour intervals whenever I could. Once I was asleep on my knees before I even finished praying. I didn't bother counting how much sleep I was running on, what day of the month it was, and my body said it was always nap time.
3. Saudi Arabinas all wear Doc Martens or Keens with socks. At EFY there were no Saudi Arabians.
4. I have no qualms about sleeping where people can see me. At EFY the hallway and any chair was fair game for a bed.
5. In India I am a celebrity. Parents bring their children up to give me a high five, young girls stare, Muslim women smile, men glance over their shoulders, and college-age guys sit on the floor with Michelle and I and talk for 2 hours at the end of which they ask for our phone numbers and invite us to visit them in Bangalore. We did not give them our numbers, and I'm pretty sure I won't be in Bangalore anytime soon. But they were very nice and and curious and funny and shared with us their views on the dowry system and protecting their sisters - and no, I wasn't the one to bring the subject up. They shared that information on the own. At EFY I was a rock star. 15 year-old boys flirted outrageous with me. You know who you are. They also did not get my number.
6. I'm pretty sure I heard an Indian instrumental version of o! Christmas Tree in the airport in Hyderabad. Michelle swears she listened to a version of Take My Breath Away while I was sleeping in a chair. At EFY any song is up for reprise, parody, or included as part of a readiness activity. I occasionally got Christmas songs stuck in my head. One week I personally remedied what I considered a glaring gap in my youths' education by teaching them the Song That Never Ends which, like O! Christmas tree is always appropriate.
7. In India all bright colors match and look good on everyone, and many people wear very baggy shirts. At EFY, all bright colors match and "look good" on everyone, and many people wear very baggy shirts.
8. Indians don't "queue" very well or follow explicit instructions. They kind of just hear the information they need and ignore the rest. It's a form of organized chaos that drove the O'Hare workers crazy, but works just fine in India. Everything gets done in more or less the same time as everyone makes sure their own needs are taken care of. Adam Smith would be in tears seeing everyone looking our for their own self interest and it actually working. 1000 teenagers also do not line up well or follow explicit instructions unless it is told them several times and a counselor is there to make sure it gets done. They do not hear the information they need snd ask you later for the times and locations that were announced 10 minutes ago. There is nothing organized about the chaos just before the variety show.
9. Indians are very happy and incredibly helpful....Except the big guards carrying assault rifles. EFY counselors are very happy and helpful except the big guards carrying rifles during Friday night lock down.
With all of these similarities and my time spent with both, I think I am ready to implement my friend Dan's suggestion and become the first EFY sessnion director in India. India Area Session 1A has a great ring to it. ANd the techno music playing over the loud speaker would be perfect at a youth dance. Well, I'm off to go teach them the EFY cheer...