A Leaky Boat

Hoshangabad, India —  The boat you see is a ferry system to cross the Narmada River. I just rode in the boat to this shore and know why the men are standing:  the bottom is full of water. As I rode across, I raised my legs as I sat on one of the benches, trying to balance my shoes on the curved side of the boat to avoid inundation. A memory of a doctor’s warning against touching open water sources in India flooded my head; but I could not have anticipated this adventure. Now on dry land, I am standing …

Women of Wenchang

After four months of working and living in northern India, I found myself captivated by the western-ness of China, particularly in regards to women. Deplaning in Guangzhou, China, I noticed women in short skirts and shorts, and couldn’t help but stare at their bare legs. I felt almost scandalized, and for a moment wondered if the young women were operating a second business (perhaps). But I also realized how my eyes had changed; I saw those women through the lens of a conservative culture. In northern India, I had been covered in shapeless modest clothes and long pants in even …