Day 2: Two Baby Cows

Hi, it’s Rachel here! Today, after starting the day with some wonderful homemade breakfast courtesy of our caretaker, we went to the Setco Foundation’s Kalol office. On the drive, we talked about our goals for the trip. We are primarily collecting information for the duration of our time here. We’re beginning by learning about the current status of our stoves and toilet in Dolatpura – how they are functioning, what the community reaction is like, and possible future steps related to the technologies. We will also be entering two communities, Medapur and Katol. Representatives from our team have visited both of these communities in the past, but we are hoping to assess the possibility of establishing more long-term and involved relationships with them to co-design technology.

We arrived at the Setco office and were greeted by our dear friends, including Gayatriben, Viral, Rajeshbhai, and Salmaben. We were also introduced to some new faces at Setco who are involved in their very successful sports programs that are helping boys and girls in the area develop self-discipline, confidence, while giving img_3606them the chance to explore new opportunities. We sat down with the field team to discuss our planned itinerary (after catching up a bit and talking about the sangeet we attended).

During the conversation, we learned more about a presentation that Gayatriben and Salmaben gave to community members in Dolatpura (150 of them! A huge attendance!) about the dangers of indoor air pollution that our education sub-team had collaborated with them to create. The community interacted a lot during the presentation, which was really good to hear. We hope to learn more about how they perceived it during our time in the community.

After our meeting with the field team wrapped up, we did some itinerary shifting based off of a local election schedule. Then, we had lunch in the canteen and headed to Dolatpura. We saw Sumitraben and her family. While checking in with them, I met a new friend. She greeted me with “Hello, what’s your name?” I was so surprised to hear English and we had a nice little chat that definitely stretched both of our vocabularies.

Then, we headed to the farm owned by Chatrsinhbhai’s img_3597family. There were a lot of new faces! We made plans to come back tomorrow when we would have more time to have longer conversations about the toilet.

We left once we had a scheduled time arranged at which point there was a herd of cows crossing the road right in front of us.

We did some work when we got back to the office. Then we drove back to the guest house (running into some rush hour traffic near Baroda). Zoha greeted us when we arrived! It was so nice to see her after a while, especially in India. We talked about our plans for Dolatpura with her for the next day. After some more of Harishbhai’s wonderful cooking, I succumbed to jet lag immediately.

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