Day 26: AA is for Adventure in Alindra

Hey all, Nisha here! We started the day off right, rested and with omelets chock full of onions and peppers, buttered toast, and my daily cup of cold milk. On our way to the office, Kabir squeezed into the back of the car so we could all talk and work during the car ride. Upon arriving, we divided up an extensive list of things to do amongst ourselves as we prepared for our morning meetings.

We sat down with Salmaben and Rajeshbhai to discuss the results of our preliminary needs filtering process (in which we narrowed down the list of potential needs our team could address in our next project). We answered questions and provided more explanations behind the few needs that we had filtered down to from our original list of nearly 30 needs. Next, we moved into discussing or communication plan for this upcoming semester. We proposed a detailed outline of how we would stay in close contact with Setco and Barola during our Fall semester and were excited by their positive response to the plan.

With two meetings successfully completed, we headed to lunch where Rajeshbhai surprised us with a bowl of freshly cut mangos, explaining that they were of a unique variety.

Next on our agenda was to visit Barola. Kabir, Sarah, and Parth went down both faliyas, taking photos of each house’s location and documenting who the residents were while Natalia and I continued conducting interviews. Our first interview was in Nishal faliya with Kokilaben, who we had met several times before during focus groups. She introduced us to her family and they helped walk us through, step-by-step, their processes for everything from acquiring drinking water to harvesting millet. Kokilaben even showed us how she balances several large pots on her head each day when she goes to collect drinking water.

After the interview, we were greeted by Gita and the Kokilaben we had interviewed yesterday. We moved to Motu faliya next where we interviewed Anjuben again. We were also welcomed by Rekhaben, who joined us partway through the interview. They similarly walked us through several of their daily processes.

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After sufficiently sweating through our clothes, we decided that it was time to end our last day of interviews in Barola. On our way back to the office, we stopped by a beautiful temple at the entrance of Alindra, as we had been told by several women in Barola that this is where they came to collect drinking water. Parth and I went to track own the water source, we which found on the side of the temple.

We worked late to finish up some remaining tasks in the office and headed back to Baroda with Elsa. Kabir once again squeezed into the back of the car, planning on working more during the ride back. As expected, our productivity was incredible: we slept through most of the car ride.

After another KFC run, we finally arrived back at the guesthouse. We spent the night completing our needs filtering process, preparing for our meeting with the entire Setco and R&D team, and creating a detailed map of Barola from the information and pictures we had taken today.

Our productivity was interrupted, however, when I spotted a lizard on the wall in Kabir’s room. Naturally, for the safety of the group, I instructed Kabir to displace it. After several futile attempts to capture it, I decided to give up, spending the next hour periodically checking the wall to assure that it hadn’t moved any closer to me.

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With only three days left, I’m looking forward to some busy but exciting last few days!

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