Hi friends, this is Kaylla, the token India first timer of the team! Our trip so far has been a series of traveling, but we have finally reached our destination after a four hour train ride from Mumbai to Baroda last night!
We’ve settled into the guesthouse, and are still waiting on Zoha’s arrival later this evening. This morning, we awoke to fresh chai and homemade poha topped with ketchup (apparently you can eat anything in India with ketchup…) and drove amongst cows and rickshaws to the Setco factory in Kalol.
I think the most exciting part of our 1 hour drive was observing the names of hotels along the road, ranging from “Hotel Decent” to “Hotel Great” though I was disappointed to not find a “Hotel Best” in the mix. After arriving at the Setco factory, we were introduced to the Setco foundation team whom we have been working with including Rajesh who joined recently, and Salma, who manages the logistics of the Setco foundation in Kalol. After presenting our plans, progress and goals to the team, we sat down to plan the rest of our week, as well as our visit to Dolatpura tomorrow. The rest of the afternoon was spent stumbling over Gujurati phrases with the help of Riya, who is staying with us at the guesthouse while she is gaining insight from the Setco Foundation’s work to expand her own NGO which gives Mumbai street children educational activities, food, and other resources to help their well-being. Looking forward to more great food!! (my favorite part of India thus far) – Kaylla