Day 5: Meeting and Completing

Hi everyone, Rachel here! Today started off with a call to our team members back in the US. It was great to hear familiar voices and update them on what’s been happening here in India. We also generated quite a few questions to ask of our partner families and ideas for how to conduct the focus group session we are planning for tomorrow.

After the meeting and some time spent in the office, we headed to Dolatpura to finish the two-burner stove with Sumitraben.

We combined cow dung and red dirt and then spread the mixture, called lapedo, over the stove. Then, the finishing touch was to smooth the fresh coating with water to even everything out.


We were joking with Sumitraben and her family about what to cook on the stove when it’s done drying. Maggi noodles, the Indian Ramen, sounded like a good idea. We grabbed some while we were out shopping last night but we will have to wait and see if the stove is dry in time for us to try cooking before we leave on Friday.


We returned to Setco for lunch after our work on the stove was done. After that, we talked over an initial plan for our community meeting tomorrow. During this conversation, I saw someone I thought I recognized walk into the office – this someone turned out to be Harish Sheth, the founder and CEO of Setco Automotive. The team got to say “hello” and shake hands with him. From the sounds of it, we will also be sitting down with him over chai on Friday to chat about the team’s progress and plans.


After Harish left the area of the office we use (to return to his many meetings), we finalized the list of toilet materials that we wanted to find and price-check in Kalol that afternoon. Viral was very helpful and accompanied us to a hardware store that had nearly everything we needed to look at – mostly different types of pipe and pipe connections as well as brickwork materials. Then we made our way to a metalworking shop that said they would be able to custom make a hinged closure for the bins of our structure. An accurate price estimate will have to wait until tomorrow when the shop owner has had time to go to his supplier in Baroda and see how much aluminum, which would be the most durable metal, will cost.

Overall, we had a very productive day, and it looks like tomorrow will be as well!


One thought on “Day 5: Meeting and Completing”

  1. Aluminum! That’s a fantastic idea…it’s a great heat conductor and strong. The reason I got excited is because I am in the materials team so I buy Aluminum for cars. You guys have made some awesome progress here. The pictures communicate the strong relationships you guys are building! In the midst of all this, don’t forget to have fun, explore, and eat a lot of food! Don’t overdo it by killing your digestive system.


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