Teige Cristiano: As an Anthropology major at Central Connecticut State University, studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity. Though clichéd, it has always been my dream to travel the world and to experience life in the shoes of another person. I have been fortunate enough to start my worldly travels at the age of nineteen. Participating in this course on the Challenges of Development in Kerala, India at such a young and impressionable age will absolutely influence my studies of anthropology when I return home. I think I will understand more and more of what I have gotten out of this trip as time goes on. It may not be right away, but, day-by-day it will all come together in some type of lifelong learning experience. However, I have gained perspective on how the Malayali people of Kerala live their everyday lives. This place is unconventional for a first-time traveler. But to be honest, I would not trade this once-in-a-lifetime adventure for anything.

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Bringing in the nets

The environmental challenges  that Kerala faces are incredible. I did not expect to see such an extreme amount of waste that lines the streets and water ways. The large corporations that are involved in the development of Kerala are more harmful to the people and environment than the total profit made. Speaking with Reju, an experienced fisherman ( of the fishing village we visited in our environmental group), he spoke to us about the difficulty traditional fisherman face while large corporation ships are harvesting fish. The fishermen have noticed that the amount of oil slicks and the disappearance of rare fish like dolphins have dramatically increased since the large corporation ships have appeared.  In the article “The Allure of The Transnational: Notes on some Aspects of the Political Economy of Water in India” the author elaborates on the issue that waste management has been a problem an increasing problem in India. “there was also mounting evidence that The Coca-Cola Company was dumping its waste sludge, later shown to be highly toxic, in nearby farmlands and also giving it away free to farmers as fertilizer”  (644). The evidence that large corporations have been treating the land environment in this way can lead to research that could find intentional pollution of the Indian Ocean.  I hope that one of the Non-Government Organization of Kerala takes this issue upon themselves.

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