Hey everyone Keny here! We apologize that we were unable to upload a blog for the 26th; we had a super jam packed day consisting of building a chula (stove) with Sumitraben and conducting interviews.
I’m sure you were waiting for the Gujarati word of the day, which we decided should be gaam (village) because that was the day that I visited a village for the first time.
Upon arrival, at the office we planned our entire day before we were on our way visit to the community of Barola for the first time.
Visiting Barola was particularly exciting as it was Div and I’s first time interacting with Barola’s community members. We both had the opportunity to brush up on our Gujarati as we set up times to interview with women of potential partner families.
Once we left the community, we headed back to the office for a delicious traditional Gujarati lunch with the Setco team. After lunch, we met with a few Setco members to discuss the plan for the 1000 stoves expansion by 2018, which was very thought-provoking and productive.
After leaving the office, Devna and Gayatriben kindly invited us to dinner and to watch a new Hindi Bollywood film: “Tiger Zinda Hai,” AKA Kabir’s favorite Hindi movie now. Now I will hand it over to Div, who will share what we did on Dec. 27th!
Thanks Keny – hello everyone, Div here again. We had an absolutely jam-packed schedule today (12/27/2017).
The morning was normal – coffee, tea, the whole shebang. After we got to the office, we finished up some logistical work with the interview questions for the community members. Then, Salamaben offered to take us to the Panch Mahotsav Festival. It was essentially a huge field filled with stalls that sold handmade crafts, art, and a ton of food. Experiencing this aspect of Indian culture was amazing, because none of us had an idea of the intricate designs that could be created by hand.
After that, we headed back to the office to grab a quick lunch and then headed to Dolatapura to build a stove with Sumitraben and Manjulaben. Let me tell you, these are two of the smartest women I have ever worked with. It was an amazing opportunity being able to help make the stove – kneading the maati, forming the bricks, and creating a chulha from scratch.
Being the stoves project co-lead, it was everything I could have imagined while interacting with our community partners. The experience, intuition, and skill that they have in creating the stove, left me in absolute awe.
Afterwards, we headed to Mota Failya in Barola to conduct interviews with potential partner families.
Kabir, Salmaben, and I talked to a few male community members, while Keny and Devna (SETCO representative) conducted the female interview questions. Overall, it was a fantastic discussion and there was a ton of information gathered.
Salmaben took us out for dinner with some people from the office, and needless to say I put on another 3 pounds.
She has taken care of us so well these past few days, she made India feel like home and SETCO feel like a true family.
We ended the day playing some cards, which was a great time and I don’t think I’ve laughed that much since I watched “IT” on the plane. It just wasn’t scary at all.
Anyways, we’ll be back soon with more updates for you all. Peace out girl scout and hi mom!