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A Guide to GCIL

Updated: Mar 9, 2019

This is my last blog. If you are following my blogs, you should know the key words to describe me; Mongolia, beef, cat, babies and Netflix. I am putting my boundaries here. No more information about me. 


I wanted to use my last blog as a guide to GCIL. If you are an applicant, or already got into the program and wondering how it feels to be part of this program get a snack and bear with me. 


Lets start with what to pack.


Sandals. I made a mistake by not packing sandals because I was told that everything is cheap in India and I was planning to buy some here. A big mistake. In India, like everywhere else, you usually get what you pay for. It took me 2 weeks to find the perfect sandals that were comfortable enough to walk for hours in the Indian sun. And it was nothing but cheap. Also, bring a bathing suit and shorts because most likely you will find an opportunity to hit a beach during your 3 months stay here. And last but not least, get some Imodium and/or Pepto Bismal because you are going to get some diarrhea.


Food. If you are a beef lover like me you are going to cry. ISI gives meat 2 times a week and rarely it is going to be beef. Speaking of ISI food, your enthusiasm about ISI food will most likely decline gradually over the weeks, but you will be fine. There are lots of nice restaurants here, but if you want something American you are going to pay like you are in America. 


Housing. You will get a whole room with two beds for yourself. People use this extra bed/mattress differently. You can have one big bed by putting the beds together, you can put two mattresses on top of each other for added comfort, you can use one bed as a place to put all of your stuff on and last but not least you can categorize the beds as “a bed when you just showered” and “a bed when you don’t remember the last time you showered”. You will also have your own private bathroom with luxury toilet with a hose, and a bucket shower. Great. 


Internet. The wifi in the block we are staying is not very good, but not too bad. If your room is at the end of the hallway, like me, you will pretty much have to forget about wifi unless you come out of your room and sit on the table on the second floor. And for sim cards, they are extremely cheap-like extremely. But you have to give them a letter, a passport photo, passport with a visa, and two hours of your life to get a sim card so you could browse through Instagram anywhere you want. And after all that process, they might deactivate your sim for some weird reason. But I do understand the reason why it is such an extensive process and I think you should google it. 


Transport. There are lots of Autos here. You might prefer Autos over cars because it makes you feel like you are part of the city. Or maybe it's just because of the wind on your face. But you also need to consider uber because it's convenient and you don’t have to say “Thumba Jaasthi” “Thumba Jaasthi” ( too much) all the time. 


People. You will meet the most inspiring people here. People who are working for NGOs, people who are volunteering at the school, people who are painting the walls, people who are digging wells, people who are picking up waste and people who are building houses. Oh the people you will meet here. They are wonderful.


There is so much more to tell you. But this blog is getting long and I am getting tired. I hope this blog helped you little bit to picture how it is to be here. In GCIL, you will see a lot, you will work a lot, you will learn a lot, and you will also have a lot of fun. I am so glad that I get a chance to come here and experience all this, and I hope you will be glad too. 


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