Day 27: AB is for Ahmedabad Buffet

Hi all, Natalia here. Today we woke up bright and early to a steaming hot bowl of Maggi noodles. We piled into the car around 8am. During the ride, with no time to waste, we set about preparing for our end-of-trip presentation that morning for the Setco Foundation and R&D team.

At the office, we put the finishing touches on the PowerPoint and were super hyped for the meeting. As soon as everyone was ready, we filed into the conference room with Rajeshbhai, Salmaben, Elsa, Vidhi, and Parth, and presented our progress on the stoves and toilets projects, the process we’ve been using for needs filtering, and our plan for communicating with Setco and with our partner community after the trip. Our presentation was generally well-received, and it was nice to have the chance to talk about the work we’ve completed this month as well as where the team is headed from here.

We then took a break for lunch, which included a yoghurt-y desert called shrikund. I’ve definitely mentioned this desert before in another post, but I feel obliged to mention it again because it’s really good, and was low-key one of the highlights of my day.

In the afternoon we had a video call with Urja to fill her in on our progress. We had very interesting and productive conversations regarding stoves expansion, identifying needs in the community, and selecting a need for our new technology project.

After wrapping up a few more tasks at the office, we returned to Vadodara, joined by Elsa and Pritham (another coworker at Setco). We took a brief stop at the guest house to change and freshen up, before setting out again for an evening in Ahmedabad. The four of us and Elsa had been invited to dinner and a tour at TransStadia, a brand new stadium and sports club which is owned by the same family that runs Setco.

 

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At TransStadia, we were led through a magnificent building complete with terraces, swimming pools, squash courts, banquet halls, a gym, a café, a card room, a children’s play area, and – our tour guide repeatedly informed us – a green space on every floor. Most of this was completed in the past year, and was little more than a concrete shell when our team was here last May. At the end of the tour, we sat down for dinner at the restaurant which occupies part of the sixth floor. The five of us enjoyed a buffet of delicious foods, accompanied by a gorgeous view of the city at night. On our way out, we couldn’t resist taking a few selfies in front of one of the infamous green spaces.

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We said our farewells to Elsa in Ahmedabad, as she was going from there to visit her family and wouldn’t return to the office until after we’d left the country. Returning to the guest house around 11pm, we discovered several bags of clothes in Kabir’s room. Each contained a very traditional kurta and a small card with one of our names on it. Salmaben had individually picked these out for us to wear to the much-anticipated community presentation in Barola tomorrow.

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