What does IAESTE Manipal

Because of my stay in Bangalore, I was thrown into the deep end. So it was all the easier to get used to Manipal. The organization on the part of the IAESTE is very good here. Activities are organized almost every week. Due to the many members of the IAESTE (~ 60), there is quick response to questions. This is particularly valuable when organizing your own weekend activities. In the evening we often meet in the Valley Flats: simple residential buildings in flat share style in which some of the interns are accommodated. IAESTE also undertakes activities such as cooking evenings (traditional cuisine) or dance evenings and the like.

After 3 weeks now, I am still trying out new restaurants for lunch and dinner. Almost every meal is eaten fresh from the stand or in the restaurant / canteen: breakfast buffet (simple food) in the cafeteria with chai / coffee flat rate for 60 cents. Dinner and lunch in the restaurant for the equivalent of 1 to 2 euros. The beer here is as expensive as in Germany and can only be enjoyed cold. Most dishes are pleasantly spicy. When I ate fish for the first time, however, I almost cried because of the heat. Fish is often pickled in a very hot sauce, so you can only choose between semi-spicy and spicy. So, especially at the beginning of my stay, food was an important part of the day. On the one hand to meet people and on the other hand to learn vocabulary on the menu such as “Aloo” (potatoes), “Masala” (hot spice), or “Pratha” (bread roll) from the menu.

Parotta with onions and masala sauce
Thali in Morudeshwa
Drink: coconut juice

So far it sounds like vacation, but the reason for my stay here is also the internship at the “Manipal University of Technology” aka MIT. During my work, I deal with a (virtual) knee implant and, in particular, with its wear part between the upper and lower leg bones. It is my job to use a computer-based simulation program (ANSYS) to calculate the wear and tear on this part. The simulation should be carried out depending on several parameters (angle, material parameters, geometry sizes). So a manageable and interesting task for five months. At the moment, however, the goal is still a long way off, because I have not yet worked with ANSYS and must first familiarize myself with the very complex program.

Although Manipal is very small (40,000 inhabitants), there is a swimming pool (men and women), a lake (unfortunately not for swimming), as well as several sports fields and a park (with a view of the huge rainforest), which is unfortunately only open to a limited extent is. The neighboring town of Udupi attracts with its miles of beaches. Until mid-September you are only allowed into the water up to about waist height. You really shouldn't underestimate the current during the monsoon season, you drift off very quickly. The main modes of transport here are buses and auto rickshaws. For long distances, people like to take the train. So there is the possibility to explore the country at the weekend.

First trip - Shiva statue in Murudeshwar:

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I'm sitting with Niklas in a restaurant for breakfast. There are “buns” (cramps with well-seasoned soup and hot coconut sauce). With a fresh pineapple juice. For 60 rp (<1 €) we take the train for almost 2 hours. The train is very full and we find space on a thick metal grille on the second level of the bunk bed. Horn and rail noises mix with the sounds of wind and rain. Get out of the train and into a landscape with palm forests and mountain hills, lined with the sea. After half an hour of walking and a thali (lunch with bread, rice and several sauces) a huge temple appears in front of us. Behind a similar large Hindu statue.

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Snapshot in Murudeshwar
Shiva statue (one of 5 deities in Hinduism)
Temple with 20 floors

Second trip - Agumbe rainforest

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The scent of incense penetrates my nose and at the same time my body is shaken to the rhythm of Indian pop music. The sound of the horn on the bus I'm sitting on is more like a cell phone ringing tone than the sound of a horn. Similar to the sound that local cars make when you drive backwards. Except that when reversing, an entire song is actually played.

Today the four of us go to the nearby rainforest. Shortly before we arrive, the bus overcomes a number of switchbacks and from the bus you can see lush green forests up to the horizon and monkeys on the roadside. Once on the plateau, we have to register at the police station. Then it starts: We enter the rainforest. Unfortunately we don't see any monkeys, but all sorts of other small animals: crabs, geckos, leeches and other small animals. Most unpleasant for us: the leeches. The problem with the local species is that the animals are very small, that they are very fast, that you usually bleed a lot after a bite and that you don't feel the bite. So we follow a path for about 1.5 hours - spying out leeches - to the mouth of a waterfall and are rewarded with a wonderful view. Once at the starting point of the hike, we are actually looking forward to the paved road (without leeches) and hike with our blood-stained pants to the bus station.

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Medium-sized leech

Who knows the name?
Arrived at the waterfall with a view