Day 5: Señor Loadenstein

Hey everyone, Keny here again! We began the day bright and early at 6:45 AM. Sanjaybhai cooked us a delicious breakfast consisting of fresh mango and puda (a vegetarian omelette made with chickpea flour and veggies). After breakfast, we left for another day at the office. We were especially excited to go on the walk to the water source for mota faliya with Kusumben at 9:30 AM (before it got too hot).

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Once we reached the office, we strategized for the day and our objectives. We then left to Barola to go walk with Kusumben. Unfortunately, as we spoke with Kusumben’s daughter-in-law Divyaben, we realized that she had already collected the water. Although we did not anticipate that, we quickly changed plans and decided to collect more data for stoves. At least we got an adorable picture of Yosraj (Divyaben’s older son) and their neighbor Sejal. Vipulbhai lead us to various homes in Barola and introduced us to a few stove builders in the community. We were able to gather information regarding the dimensions of the stoves and also document how the women felt during the training process. It was amazing to hear that the women have noticed a reduction in the smoke that they inhale.

After being out in the scorching heat and bright sun, we headed back to the office to begin work for the day regarding the new technology project. We looked at the various designs that we had researched earlier in the week and sketched more versions of each. Throughout the afternoon, we were very pleased with our progress on prototyping and decided that we would head back home an hour early.

Back at the guesthouse, we all decided to have some alone time to relax. Then we ate delicious jeeru rice (a cabbage vegetable dish), yogurt, and roti. After dinner, we headed to Caroline and Nisha’s room to do mehendi (henna). Caroline did a beautiful job even though it was her first time. Then Nisha decided to be basic and write everybody’s name in Gujarati on our wrists (see the “basic” photo below). I was getting impatient and wanted to rub it off but everybody kept telling me that it won’t be dark enough. But let me tell you… as I rubbed it off, it stayed completely black! Gautham then read the packaging and we realized that it was black mehendi (rip). After doing the henna, it was about 10:30 PM so we all decided to get ready for bed as we would be waking up at 5:45 AM to go collect water with Kusumben.

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