Category Archives: Announcements

Will The Last Person Out Please Turn Out The Lights?

Well, seeing as I’m back from India and relatively re-integrated into American life, I’m going to be focusing on other projects/pursuits and no longer updating this blog. Of course, all of the content/writing will remain up as a blogged history of my experiences before leaving for India and while I was there.

I sometimes ask myself a question when I think back at my experiences – would I have done this whole thing again, knowing now what I didn’t know then? Based on a lot of thinking and discussion, I think the answer would be yes. I feel that the whole experience helped me to become a stronger, more patient person. It opened my eyes to a culture I hadn’t totally understood before. I also met a lot of great people along the way that made things interesting. All of these positives definitely outweigh the temporary setbacks that we had to slog through along the way.

In conclusion, I leave you with a poem by Robert Frost entitled – “The Road Not Taken”

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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On The Move…

Well, I’m back to the USA – it has been a fast-paced few weeks. It was awesome to spend time at home for the holidays. I wish I had found some more time to visit with friends, but thems the breaks I guess.

I drove down to Lisle, IL in a snowstorm in order to report on January 2 – lots of spun out cars and slow going. The Infosys office there is pretty quiet, as most of the work is done on client sites. Had to do a little paperwork – plus they have internet access between 9 and 5 PM! That helped out when I had to take care of some faxes.

I’ve also been hitting the pavement hard, looking for an apartment. I’ve had a lot of help from my new Japanese girlfriend – aka my 2008 Honda Civic – a wonderful car so far (plus it’s 70% made in America!). My 1994 Buick had a strong engine, but it’s not reliable enough in the electrical department to do long range commuting – however, it still lives on in Rochester Hills!

Hopefully I get on a project sometime soon – things are a little bit up in the air at the moment. I’m hoping to find something out today or Monday. If not, I may be doing some training stuff for a while. Thankfully, I still get paid my full US salary!

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Leaving On A Jet Plane…

Well, looks like my journey is finally ending. By the time you read this, I’ll be in a Tata Motors Sumo, driving the 134 km trip to Bangalore from Mysore for the last time – at least for the near future.

I’ll be taking off from Bangalore HAL Airport at 3:20 AM Indian Standard Time on December 22, 2007 (4:50 PM on December 21st, 2007 in Detroit), will be stopping in Frankfurt, Germany, then will be landing at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport at 1:35 PM Eastern Standard Time on December 22, 2007 – hooray for traveling across 10.5 hours worth of time zones!

First stop on the way back to Rochester Hills? Wendy’s. That little red headed girl represents freedom…and beef. I’ll probably cry tears of joy when the cashier actually has change in their drawer.

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Ship Out Date – Confirmed!

Well, looks like I’ll be home from India for good before Christmas! The company told me that I’d be leaving immediately after Friday, December 21st – less than 2 weeks away – so I’m planning on being on the next flight out at 3:00 AM on Saturday morning. I’ll actually arrive home at DTW the same calendar day at 1:30 PM, due to the fact that I’m crossing quite a few time zones. Sadly, the flights themselves are about 20 hours.

I’m officially released from E&R training and am now an “real” Infoscion in production. I also got confirmation that I’ll be posted in the Chicago area at a yet to be determined client location following my time here. Unfortunately, I don’t know how long the project will be – making housing a bit of a challenge. Hopefully that will change as more communication occurs with my managers this week.

In other news, the 10 or so Americans in my business unit are the only ones left here in Mysore of the original 87. Everyone else was shipped out to Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Bhubaneswar. We had some going away parties to celebrate/wish people good luck. I was able to capture some video from “The Road” – a new club here in Mysore – on Friday night.

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All I Want For Christmas…

After being here in India for over 4 months, I think my perspective on a lot of things has changed. One area in particular is fully realizing how many blessings I have had bestowed upon me and my life. I was raised in a loving family, never went without any necessary thing (food, water, clothing), had the opportunity to go to college, to pursue my interests. Before I came here, I don’t think I always appreciated them fully – I took them for granted at times.

However, I have seen things here that have dramatically changed how I look at things. I’ve seen families living in garbage dumps, seen children reduced to begging in the middle of busy roads in sprawling urban areas, seen people with limbs ravaged by polio – the list goes on. While I have had to focus a lot on my work, the sights I have seen still haunt me and probably will for the rest of my life.

I have done a lot of soul-searching and realized that when it really comes down to it – I honestly don’t need anything this holiday season. I have a good job, I live in a secure corporate compound with A/C, free bottled water, high speed internet, etc. There are people 200 yards away from me who struggle to survive.

To this end, I have decided to request that anyone who planned to give me gifts this holiday season make a donation to these charities instead. I’ve decided that the best thing I could receive for Christmas is knowing that others are being helped. As a challenge of sorts, I’ve personally donated $10 to each charity listed.

International Charities:

Save The Children: This group does a lot to help alleviate the suffering of children and families around the world, including right here in India. Their gift catalog allows to choose a gift that will help someone in countries all over the world.

Heifer International: This charity strives to help end hunger and provide those in poverty with a way to sustain themselves and their families – thereby stopping the vicious cycle. One can purchase an animal, a share of an animal, trees, etc. to further this goal. They operate all around the world, including India.

Samaritan’s Purse: By purchasing a gift through their catalog, you are giving something of tangible benefit to the poor and needy around the world (including India). From sponsoring an orphan’s care to providing vocational training, the gifts in their catalog will undoubtedly help others. They are an avowed Christian charity, but provide relief to everyone – they do not discriminate in who they help.

Local/Domestic Charities:

Salvation Army USA: They need no explanation – you’ve seen their red kettles all over the place for decades. I respect the work that this group does tremendously. I set up a “Red Kettle” on their site that you can donate to – kind of a fun way to track things.

Help A Willing Kid Foundation – Lansing, MI: This charity is very close to my heart. They provide kids in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Lansing with after school activities, including athletics (specifically amateur boxing), tutoring, etc. Through their work, they keep kids off the streets and provide them with a structured environment that gives them the opportunity to improve themselves and stay out of gangs/off drugs. I work personally with this all-volunteer organization and have seen first hand what the money raised goes towards.

Capuchin Soup Kitchen – Detroit, MI: Operated by the brothers of the Capuchin Franciscan order, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen provides food, clothing, and other necessary social services to those in need in Detroit. They have a rich history of serving the poor in the area.

Closing Words:

In conclusion, I just want to get it out there that I don’t expect anyone to donate if they do not want to. This is not a guilt trip or a burden I want to place upon anyone. I just want to help out those that are less fortunate by forsaking the tradition of receiving gifts for myself. Donate as much or as little as you wish – it’s the thought that counts. All I ask is that you let me know if you donate/where you donate – I want to put together a scrapbook/binder of sorts and maybe put together some neat graphs/stats for posterity.

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Mysore Back…

Well, I survived my adventure to Northern India, had some fabulous Chicken Tikka, visited some amazing places, got harassed by a lot of cab/auto rickshaw drivers, looked at some overpriced handicrafts and made it back here to Mysore in one piece. I took copious notes about my experiences, so look for a 3 part series detailing my experiences up in New Delhi and Agra coming soon.

I uploaded my raw images from the trip – will be post-processing them over the next few days, so they look a little rough around the edges.

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Off To See One Of The Wonders Of The World…

Well, the time has finally arrived – I leave for Delhi early, early tomorrow morning to experience Indian culture outside of Karnataka. I’ll be checking out the sights in Delhi on Friday, then take an early train to Agra to see the Taj Mahal – one of India’s most enduring sights for centuries. I’m definitely looking forward to this trip – it was one of the “must see” places on my list. I’ll be sure to get plenty of awesome photos and video to share with y’all.

I’ll be unreachable until Monday evening (I get back into Mysore at 4:30 AM on Monday morning, then I have to go to work at 9 AM), but feel free to comment/call my voicemail/etc.

If you are looking for something interesting to read, check out the new blog that I’m launching – A Day Late, A Buck Short.
It is a blog with advice/articles and discussion regarding personal finance, frugality, personal development and technology – all from my own unique perspective. It’s still in its infancy, but I’ll be posting regularly to beef it up substantially – so be sure to subscribe via e-mail/RSS reader/bookmark. Let me know what you think of it.

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