I have realized so many ways I could be more successful and more legitimate in my project. If I had another two or three months I would be so happy. I could accomplish so much. I am finally finding the contacts I need and realizing where the best place to focus my efforts is. This project would have been much more successful if I did it in the fall so I could hit up some colleges. I have acquaintances going to college now and if I could get into that scene, I could probably have book club quality conversations about any time I wanted. Somehow getting connections at local paying guests would also be very helpful.
I finally have contacts to start accessing a network, but they take time to build. Really they will not be ready for me to really utilize. One month is not enough time in Delhi! I need more time to become more familiar with the book club members to get them to trust me enough to introduce me to their other friends and things like that.
Another thing I have learned is how important living conditions are. I am not staying in a bad place. I do not want you to imagine that I am living in some awful, dirty, destitute shack or something. Just...the paying guest I am staying in, while affordable, is miserable for getting work done. It is so much harder to work here than I anticipated. I would punch babies for access to a desk. There also are not very many public spaces where you can go and work on stuff. I guess I am so used to being around BYU campus that I did not take into account that there would not always be that available. Doing this again I would plan extra money and pay for more expensive, but better equipped housing. With so much reading and writing to do, it really would be nice to stay in a place at least marginally designed to accommodate studying.
I think the biggest thing I am realizing is how nice it would be to have extra time or another summer to do another version of this project. This experience has taught me so much about how to properly structure and carry out a research project. I just wish that would show up somehow in my final product. Because of what I have learned, I feel like my field study has been a smashing success. I just also feel like that will not be reflected in what I produce and people will wonder what the heck I was doing out here all summer. Which is fine, I just wish I could find a way to include it all. Maybe I will.
This last month will be good. With the contacts I have I will be able to get the information I need for my project. Maybe nobody will even pick up on the fact that the first two and a half months I was in India I accomplished almost nothing. Well, nothing besides establishing the reading stereotype. It just sucks that from the way things look know I am going to leave the country and end my project feeling like I just barely got started.