Kabir here! The day started off as you typically expected, a refreshing cup of chai and wonderful smelling breakfast. We had planned a meeting with Urja at 8:30 am so to our dismay breakfast did not come out in time before we left. We swerved around the buzzing streets of Vadodra to pick up Salmaben from her house and Elsa from her home. We arrived at the Foundation, chugged a cup of chai in anticipation of the meeting, and got ready to discuss plans for stoves and toilets. After the meeting we met with yoga instructors and analyzed the type of steel used in our stove design.
After downing our lunch we made a quick stop in Dolatpura to drop off a chimney so Sumitraben could start on another stove. Then we headed to Ambica, the chimney factory, to pick up more chimneys to take back to the US and leave in Dolatpura. We stopped at our local metal dealer shop to pick up strips of stainless steel and aluminum. I had to use my thorough background in mechanical engineering to use calipers to measure the width of the sheet. No one was impressed. We headed back to Dolatpura. We gave Sumitraben a chimney and two strips of metal for future stoves.
Sai took pictures while she constructed a stove at Manojbhai’s home and Rachel and I took measurements of the newly built stove at Sumitraben’s.Afterwards we attempted to interact with the community. I emphasize attempted heavily because we relied on Nathubhai to translate Gujurati to Hindi, I translate Hindi to English, then English to Hindi to rely our response and Nathubhai Hindi to Gujurati. All in all it was a great time spent in the community, I spoke my broken Hindi, Sai told everyone that I eat elephants, and we were able to check off some of our tasks.
We came back to a party to celebrate the retirement of an individual who worked at Setco Automotive for 31 years! The celebration brought me back to my childhood with rich green chutney sandwiches, oily potato chips, and heaping amounts of cake. To wrap up our day at the office we spoke to a couple R&D members about the technical assessments needed regarding the stove to be conducted while we aren’t in country.
After a series of days of being the last ones to leave and close up the office we finally were able to leave ten minutes early! With this newfound time we headed back home, freshened up, and went to the Inorbit mall. Somehow we ended up at McDonalds with the holy grail of non-veg sandwiches, the McSpicy Chicken. After personally eating way too many, we made our way to the movie theater to watch Aamir Khan’s new film Dangal. To our surprise it was also produced by Disney and was an all-round awesome movie! The theater itself was insane with seats that literally reclined all the way back. We also found ourselves standing for the Indian national anthem and waiting for the movie to start back again after an 18 minute intermission. It was a really cool experience!
We headed back to the guesthouse and went to bed immediately. It was a great day!