my first week in the country was mainly spent in ajmer, rajasthan. it was my first field visit in india, and it was very educational. we visited different villages and communities, interviewed government employees and activists, and attended a couple of meetings.
the content of the meetings and interviews was nothing new; it was my discussions with people i found insightful and inspirational.
what baffled me: the place we were staying at in ajmer had a patrol guard who would circle the building and randomly (inevitably outside my window) bang his stick and let out a siren like whistle that nearly gave me a heart attack the first time i heard it.
also, i saw many women sweeping sand strewn streets, which simply made the sand and dust rise up in clouds around them; there was no cleaning value to the act, as far as i could see.