Day 22: W is for Water

Hey y’all, Nisha here! My first day back from Ahmedabad started off on the right foot with a cup of cold milk and, as expected, omelets and toast. After arriving to the office, we prepared for our first day of targeted interviews during which we would interview community members in Barola that we had already met in order to get more detailed information regarding points that they had brought up earlier. We planned to go to Barola to ask two women that we had already interviewed, Ramilaben and Rekhaben, when they would be available later that day to meet with us.

We met up with Salmaben who was planning on heading to the field with us. Upon arriving in Barola, Namrataben helped us track down where Rekhaben lived in Motu falia. Sarah and Natalia stayed with Salmaben to conduct the interview while Namrataben guided Kabir and me to Nishal faliya. We were disheartened at first to find that Ramilaben was not home. As we contemplated what our next move would be, we heard Ramilaben call to us from further down the road as she walked back to her home, balancing two large containers of water on her head. She invited us in and we began our interview while she prepared lunch. We were able to meet her younger son and were greeted by her older son once more. We walked through, in detail, how Ramilaben conducted different processes each day, asking about cooking, cleaning, farming, and water collection. Time passed quickly in the interview, as it was so easy to speak with her, so we were taken aback by how long it had already been when Natalia, Sarah, and Salmaben rejoined us after completing their interview. We ended our meeting soon after with numerous selfies with their entire family and another invitation to return to meet them once more.

Salmaben alerted us in the car ride back from Barola that she was running late for an ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) meeting in Kalol during which she was intended to give a speech. We were able to listen to a speech from one of the executive members of the program, detailing the necessity and importance of their work. Salmaben introduced us to the rest of the members that were being honored at the meeting, and we all were given bouquets of flowers.

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We headed back the office for a late lunch, stepping over fallen trees that had been uprooted during last night’s storm.

The afternoon consisted of calling the water testing laboratory and finalizing how we could place our order.

Upon arriving back to Baroda, the team unanimously voiced that we needed a break before we starting work in the evening. After dinner, we worked until late, debriefing the two interviews that we had conducted, updating our files with this new information, and preparing the interview protocol for tomorrow.

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