Day 9: Nine Ladies Dancing

Rachel here! The day started off with one of Harishbhai’s wonderful omelets which was followed by a car ride to Kalol spent working on documents. When we reached Setco, we worked out our schedule for the day which comprised of spending time working at the office and going to Dolatpura. We had initially planned on completing a post-presentation assessment in Medapur to see what effects our presentation had on the audience but due to the elections that were held this past Tuesday we decided to let the community get its new government established before we entered again.

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Instead, our field work today was all in Dolatpura. We observed two more stove builds conducted by Sumitraben. She and the recipients of the stoves made pretty fast work of the mati making, chimney installing, and chulha molding.

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Between the stove builds, we watched Sangeetaben dismantle her low-smoke chulha that was built during the May trip. We got important feedback and were able to observe some internal issues that led to the chimney cracking. It was unfortunate to see the chimney fail, but the clay pipes we’ve bought this trip directly from the factory seem sturdier and we learned a lot about the role that the bricks play in the long-term success of the stove. And the stove did work really well for several months without issue beforehand, so we know that there are still benefits that justify the hassle of rebuilding and assessing failures.

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We headed back to Baroda after we finished up our time in Dolatpura. Viral rode with us to help us find a replacement for the battery in our sensor that died. It was a bit of an adventure to track down, but he managed to do it. We dropped him off near his home and headed to the guest house to freshen up. We were then picked up by Salmaben for a night out to celebrate the New Year. There was tons of food and dancing!

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