Hey everyone, it’s Colby here writing our final blog post of the trip! (How did this happen so quickly??) We woke up per usual on Thursday with a yummy breakfast and headed to work. Once we arrived at the office we began preparation for the three presentations we were giving that day: two for the Setco Foundation team and one for Urja who we videocalled. We also worked on the May Trip Report, the summative document used to describe our work over the last month, and then at 11:00 headed to a conference room to present to the Foundation team.
We first presented about our stoves expansion work and then gave a general overview presentation for the entire trip. Overall, it was a great final meeting with the Foundation team and we were happy to share our progress with them. After that meeting we headed back to our office room and took a video call with Urja in order to share the same information with her. That phone call was lovely and it was nice as always to speak with her!
In the afternoon we travelled to Kalol to pick up the >100 photos we had developed for our partners in Dolatpura and Barola. We then headed to Barola to drop off photos with Ramilaben and Kusumben. They both loved the photos and Kusumben’s grandsons even seemed to enjoy them! It made us happy to deliver these photos to them from our time during this trip and to thank them for their work with us for the water technology project.
We next went to Dolatpura to deliver photos to Sumitraben and say goodbye to her. Out of all of the photos we gave her, she loved the ones of her grandson Vivek the most (we can’t blame her, he’s the most stoic, cutest little toddler). She even said that those photos were the best we had ever delivered to her in any of our trips! Complete credit to Keny and her camera for that accomplishment. It was so nice to say a happy goodbye to Sumitraben after having done such great work with her during this trip.
Our feelings exactly as we said goodbye to our community partners
After our day at the office ended, we went to Salmaben’s beautiful home in Vadodara for a delicious dinner (probably the best we’ve had this whole trip) and to spend some quality time with her. We had a really nice evening with her and her family and it was really the perfect end to our trip. Right after dinner, we headed to a barber shop so that Gautham could get shaved (he was way too scruffy). We then went back to the guest house, packed our bags, and headed to bed before our half day at the office and then our journey to Ahmedabad and, ultimately, the United States (home)!
An action shot of Gautham looking eerily similar to Santa Claus during his shave
As our last days here in Guajrat are upon us, I would like to thank the Setco Foundation, UofM, BLIP, BLUElab, our parents, and anyone else who helped and supported our travellers during our month-long journey. We are all so happy to have achieved all of our goals for this trip and are excited to see what our team will be up to during this next semester. This month has been joyful, challenging, exciting, and everything in between! We say a bittersweet goodbye to India soon now and with that, goodbye blog!
Our hearts at this moment as described by Michael Scott