Vicky Collins Online

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Dog Days at the Commonwealth Games

Stray dogs are one of my favorite sights in Delhi.  They are all mutts and they loaf around the city.  I have even seen them lying in the roadways oblivious to traffic whizzing by.  Delhi has cleared many of them away from the games and venues.  Today they were rounding them up at the field hockey venue. I hear they are in shelters and will be released when everyone goes home.  I have been assured that Indians will not harm them.  The dogs are sweet souls and today one of them stole the show at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium where the track and field events are being held.  Check this runner out!

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.

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Waste Not, Want Not

The other night my colleagues and I ordered pizza to be delivered to our workplace at the International Broadcast Centre during our shift at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. There have been tons of issues with the catering here so we had food brought in. At the end of the evening there were still four untouched boxes of pizza that were cold and had been sitting around. We threw them out. On our way back to our hotels we walked past all the security personnel who would be on alert all night and regretted our decision to waste the food. With that in mind I was very gratified today to see what my colleague, Anu, did at a local shopping area. We were eating street food and she ordered something she could not finish. Instead of throwing it away, like we would do in the states, she handed her unfinished dish of lentils to a young boy who gobbled it up. In a country with so much poverty I found it inspiring to pass the food to a stranger rather than throw it in the bin. It was much more dignified for the lad to accept the kindness of Anu than to be hungry or beg or fish the food out of the trash. Anu said if she puts something on her plate she must finish it or she feels bad. If she can’t finish then she shares. It was a win-win for both Anu and the boy and food for thought for this visitor.

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.


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Delhi’s Commonwealth Games Face

When I came to Delhi in 2008 I remember the palpable culture shock.  It was overwhelming even for a rather intrepid traveler.  I had been in Beijing and Uganda earlier in the year so I thought I would be prepared for anything, but nothing I had ever experienced set me up for India.  On the roadway from the airport cows roamed the street.  The traffic was indescribable and everyone honked their horns. There were thousands of stray dogs loafing in the sun, then at night they would roam in hungry packs and turn aggressive.  Squatters camped along the roadways and children would race up to your car when you were stopped at intersections to beg or perform little tricks in hopes of a handout.  It took me about 24 hours to adjust and I still am ashamed of my ugly American moment when I couldn’t get the hot water to work.

Two years later, I see a different city.  For all the international ridicule Delhi suffered as it ramped up to the Commonwealth Games, the Indian capitol definitely has on its game face now.  The cows and dogs have been relocated for the time being to shelters.  There are few squatters and I haven’t seen one beggar yet.  Traffic is moving well and things are clean and tidy.  It remains to be seen what it will be like in three months when the international spotlight turns away (I still wonder how Beijing transformed once the Olympics were over.)  Of course Delhi will be left with the emotional and financial hangover these huge international sporting events leave behind, but for the moment, it is a new day in Delhi.  The only thing that hasn’t changed is the warmth of the people.  That is the same as it was in 2008.  Warm smiles and namastes.  Great hospitality to cure the worst case of culture shock.

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.