Vanakkam, minna-san!

Posted on November 15th, 2009 by

This means “Hello, everyone!”

 Actually, that’s a combination of Tamil, a language spoken
here in India, as well as Japanese, both of which I (sort of) speak.  My name is Brendan Nadeau, a junior political science major at Gustavus Adolphus college.  This week, the SPJD group was in Andhra Pradesh, near Zaheerabad, Medak district.  Earlier, we were in Hyderabad, then traveled here to the Deccan Development Society, an NGO that helps out with farmers and the poorer people of this area.  They primarily work with Dalit women, the bottom of the social class, on farming techniques that have been around
for centuries, such as multi-cropping, or planting more than one crop per field, using compost piles, and such.  We’ve visited several villages, such as Gangwar, which we experienced the seed-saving and seed-utilization process, Metalkunta, where a day-care center was set up for farmers and their children, and Kalimela, in which we interacted with Village Health Workers, who were involved in local, traditional methods of healing. 
We also went to a alternative school for dropouts and sung for the local radio station that was run by the Dalit women of the community.  Later in the week, we visited the Bihar Fort, a famous historical monument in Karnataka,
which covers many square kilometers and was a mixing pot of Persian, Turkish, East Asian, and Indian artwork.  It also holds massive cannons, capable of firing over six miles at enemy formations.  We also visited a Sikh holy site, in which we were assisted by a friendly Sikh security guard who pointed out the historical facts of the temple, and a Hindu temple that was in a cave, partially submerged in water and had bats in it (some people went in, I didn’t).  This weekend, we’re in Hyderabad again, seeing some of the local sights and resting up for our trip to Delhi.  We visited the Golkonda fort, and saw a light show there that described the history of the fort. 

This module on Environment, Ecology, and Development is coming to an end, so we are all working on projects and papers at the moment.
That’s all for now, see you all later!

Brendan Nadeau



  1. Julie Nadeau says:

    Thanks for the blog. It is so interesting to read about your adventures. I look forward to seeing all the photos!

  2. Laura Munoz says:

    What a tremendous experience you seem to be having–certainly unlike any you would have here in the US. I appreciate your Mom sharing this with me. I’m sure you will be missed at Thanksgiving, but you will be in our thoughts and prayers. Stay safe and enjoy.

  3. Mona Ibrahim says:

    Thanks for updating us with your news Brendan. Best wishes on your papers & projects!