Day 1: B is for Birthday

My birthday celebration in India had an early start with a fresh cup of chai as we headed off to the Setco office for the first time on this trip. We arrived after overcoming the morning traffic and headed into a meeting to have introductions with Setco leaders and discussions regarding our initial plans for the Needs Assessment. We watched a video and presentation that detailed the history of Setco and the impact that the foundation has had, highlighting the relationship that our team has formed with them over time.

With tasks assigned and more work to do after the meeting, we began creating detailed timelines and protocols for the upcoming interviews with community members. Our work was relieved by an incredibly decadent, multi-course lunch at the office with other Setco employees.

Full and excited to be in Dolutpura, We shifted from side to side as our feet cooked on the burning ground near our composting toilet. I was able to meet Chatrasinhbai for the first time, working alongside Kabir to translate questions regarding the toilet’s use as our team continued inspecting it. We made plans to return again that week and begin tackling some of the problems we had identified.


Our mid afternoon break consisted of more chai and biscuits that we snacked on as we finished up our work in the office.

The five of us went out to dinner, ordering plates overflowing with paneer and fresh naan. To celebrate, the team took turns as each fed me a bite of Gulab Jamun, most of which made it into my mouth.

We had a late night, working to complete plans for the rest of the week, finishing up lists for a toilets shopping trip and more needs assessment preparatory work for out meetings tomorrow.

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