Tuesday 30th March 2010
Well, so much has happened since I last wrote that I really don’t know where to start!
Work has been busy, but interesting, and I’ve been meeting with loads of NGOs to try and get our student internship up and running, and we’ve had lot of positive responses, so that’s good. I’m also busy planning activities for World Environment Day on June 5th, so we’re hoping to get a couple of guest speakers to come and give a lecture on the environment, show a film screening of “An Inconvenient Truth” and lots more fun and exciting environmentally-themed things!
The University is being inspected this week by the UGC (University Governing Committee I think), so the last two weeks have been insanely busy and every department has to have every single file and document in order ready for inspection. They’ve planned out a careful itinerary, and on Wednesday I’m giving them a presentation of our CSR programmes so far and then escorting them around our sports and recreational facilities – so I’ll have to find out where they are!
I have started an intensive Hindi course through my friend’s organisation, Knowledge Must that’s really good, but quite exhausting – 4 hours every Saturday and Sunday for two weeks. Hopefully my Hindi will start to improve if I can manage to practise it often enough!
Let’s see, what other gossip is there? Well, T, one of the British lecturers here has managed to get himself into a bit of trouble. He’s a really strange character – he’s really nice, and very laid back, but literally OBSESSED with women, and young women in particular. He comes across as so nice and normal, but then starts talking about his 5 girlfriends in the Seychelles, his fiancee in South Africa, and he is constantly oogling all the female students. He even had the nerve to say the other day that he was always faithful to his two previous ex-wives, and that it was ok to flirt with all these women cos he’s single at the moment.
I reminded him about the 5 girlfriends and the fiancee and he just looked at me, dead serious, and said that didn’t count cos they were THOUSANDS of miles away!
He genuinely can’t seem to control himself, and is constantly asking students for their phone numbers, and then texting them when he’s drunk. He’s about 55, and most of these girls are about 18-20. Granted it’s not exactly illegal here, but that kind of fraternisation is very much frowned upon, and most girls here aren’t even allowed to have boyfriends, as their parents arrange their marriages for them. What’s even worse is that he insists on referring to them as his “little girls”, which is just soooo creepy!
So, as I’m sure you have guessed by now, T got in trouble for sending some inappropriate text messages. He made a joke that one of the girls should marry him, and the girl in question got really upset and uncomfortable, so she reported it, along with all the text messages to someone very high up. Apparently this is the second time T’s been warned about this kind of behaviour, and a number of people (along with ALL of the Indian staff) feel that he should be fired. The really funny thing is, he genuinely can’t seem to help himself – he’s already had a serious warning, and has left a trail of dirty text messages all over campus!
We all went out for dinner last Friday night, and S kept telling him T ought to go and get it out of his system at a slightly more appropriate place, and hinted that a couple of our Indian colleagues could probably take him to a good brothel! Even worse, he’s applied for a job in KUWAIT, at an all-girls college! Both S and I tried so hard to explain to him that the girls there will all be fully covered from head to toe, and even asking for a student’s phone number would probably get his balls chopped off! He keeps saying that he knows all this, and that he can be good, but seriously, there is just no way that will end well if he does go to Kuwait.
Anyway, aside from all that, things are going well, and I’m proud to announce that I have my very own set of business cards for the first time ever! I’ve never felt quite so grown-up and important! The weather here has gotten seriously hot over the last month – it’s now definitely time to start using the fans and the AC! I think last week it got up to 42 degrees almost everyday, which is not too bad, as it’s very dry heat, but it frightens me a little bit to think how hot and humid it’ll get by June!
So, I guess I’d better get back to work – everybody is mega-stressed about this UGC visit, and I’ve just had a dressing-down from the registrar for not starting up CSR programmes 9 months ago, in spite of the fact that I wasn’t even here!
Hope you’re all well.
tons of love