The countdown is on – one week until I leave for India. Backpack is washed, furniture is (almost) all sold, and I started running to music instead of podcasts so I could save them for the plane. 33 hours of travel will require A LOT of podcasts.
Unemployment has given me plenty of time to prep. Lately, this has been done from the kiddie pool on my deck. I’ve been teaching myself Kannada (the local language in Bangalore) and teaching myself HTML/CSS, because I figure it is something I should know anyway. I’ve been reading about the history and culture of India to try and mediate the culture shock. And, obviously, I’ve spent plenty of time on Facebook, Instagram and meaningless Wikipedia tangents.
Yesterday, my Facebook perusing turned up something of actual value, as opposed to the endless stream of baby pictures and Pinterest recipes. Humans of New York is posting from Pakistan and met Fatima, who is being called a “modern day Harriet Tubman.” She is working to end bonded labor in the brick kilns. Men and women who work in Pakistani brick kilns are working as slaves. They are forced to work 12 hours and produce 1,000 bricks per day. The kiln owners charge them for rent and food, so at the end of the day the workers owe more money than they have made. The kiln owners are very powerful – they have a lot of money and political resources and are living above the law. HONY featured 7 posts about Fatima and her work to help free the laborers from the kiln owners. HONY started a fundraising page to help Fatima end bonded labor in Pakistan, and after just 2 days they have already raised over $2 million in donations from over 67,000 people. What awesome work, and what a difference HONY author Brandon made. It made me so excited for my trip!
Follow the link below to read the whole series.