Ah yes day zero. A day filled with wailing babies, small meal portions, uncomfortable sleeping positions, and sub-par new movies. Hi my name is Kabir Rastogi, incoming project lead for BLUElab India Project, and I will be describing the day where we beat the menacing antagonist – jet lag.
Today was our day off. We had just flown from Chicago, USA to Doha, Qatar to Ahmedabad, India where we embarked on a two hour car ride to Vadodara, which will be our home for the next thirty days. For me, I’m Indian and have traveled many times to my motherland, but I can only imagine the bewilderment that our first-time traveler Natalia (our incoming toilets and new technology lead), experienced as she witnessed immense amount of traffic, animals roam the street, the vibrant colors that coat Indian street corners, and stands that sell 2 rupee chai (3 cent tea).
We arrived at the guest house at 5 am where Rachel, outgoing project lead; Nisha, incoming education lead; as well as Natalia slept for the next 5 hours. Sarah, outgoing stoves lead, and I stayed up for the next five hours. Not the best idea. Sarah whipped out her new camera and started clicking away pictures. Obviously this forced me to channel my inner model and “werk it” to see the quality of the images.
When everyone arose from their slumber we all sat down for a nice meal, some chai and then headed to the shopping areas to buy kurtis (indian clothing for women). Somehow we ended up at KFC where I devoured my body weight’s equivalent in chicken sandwiches. We came back to the guest house, played lots of cards (actually consisted of four engineers who pride themselves on being the leaders and the best attempting to figure out the rules of Go Fish), planned out this week’s logistics, and ate some dinner. At this point the sleep that Sarah and I put off for so long caught up to us, and we were knocked out until this morning.
This is my second trip with such an amazing group and we have a lot planned. Over the next thirty days we wish to conduct a new needs assessment and continue the pre-existing plans with our current technologies – stoves and toilets. I am extremely excited for the near future and to be back in this wonderful country.