Hey everyone, Nisha here! I’m so excited to be back in Gujarat with BLIP again. We started with an early morning…with half of the guesthouse waking up comfortably at 3AM. A few hours later we started our morning with fresh mango, bananas, chai, and bataka paua (a simple Gujarati snack of flattened rice and batata).
Realizing that we were the first ones to arrive in the office, we settled in and prepared for a day of meetings and community visits. We spent the morning combing through old interview notes and modifying our protocols. Once Vipul arrived, we left for Dolatpura.
We met with Sumitraben to get feedback on the stoves training process and introduced our stencil design. It was exciting to get her opinion on the stoves expansion and schedule a future stove build for later in the trip. We also got to see her cute grandson Vivek again, although we were still were unable to make him smile.
A meeting with Vidhi and Parth served as a nice break between our community visits. Caroline led a great discussion about the future of the stoves design and how we could continue collaborating with the R&D team.
After a quick lunch, we headed off to Barola to introduce the prototype designs to our community partners for the first time. Once we arrived in Nishal faliya, Ramilaben was quick to greet us with a familiar hug and was thrilled to meet our new travel members. We split up the team, with Gautham, Keny, and Devna walking through Nishal faliya to reconnect with the community members while Colby, Caroline, Vipul Bhai, and I interviewed Ramilaben, with her son and neighbors joining the conversation later. It was very comforting to see her enthusiasm about our progress and gave much needed critical feedback on our designs. We were similarly please with our discussion with Kusumben in Mota Faliya, where Keny, Colby, and Devnaben were able to gain her insight on the designs we presented. Vipul led Gautham, Caroline, and I where we stumbled upon a stove (chulha) build. We were fascinated by how quickly and instinctively the two women were constructing the chulha with our design.
After spending several hours in the field, we were ecstatic about how quickly we had made progress. We then decided to leave early and head back to the guesthouse where we were greeted by Setco’s newest intern, Prakash.
With everyone else’s steadfast determination to celebrate my birthday, the team organized a dinner out.
We headed to the Havmor restaurant ordering everything from gobi manchurian, to pizza, to butter chicken, and finishing the night with a loud rendition of the “happy birthday” song. Caroline was very surprised to find noodles in her ice cream dish (Falooda)! Overall, this was a wonderful way to spend my 20th birthday in Gujarat and I’m looking forward to continue the work at our team.