Spring Break 2019 Day 4

Hey everyone, its Hannah! Yesterday was a very full day, and we got a lot done. We started early in the morning visiting Ranipura to look at some more stoves. We visited three women who had built stoves with Nanduben, who we had visited the day before. The first woman that we visited built her new stove into her old chulha, making a three burner stove, as you can see below.  I don’t think I have ever seen that before, and I thought it was a really smart solution to keep using the old stove.

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The second woman built her stove inside, but even though she liked the new stove better than her old one, she found that the edge was starting to crack and sink from the weight of the pots that she was using. A bunch of the community members had some really good ideas on how to make the stove stronger, such as mixing brick powder into the mati (the clay and straw mixture used to make the stoves) and adding extra supports. We also got to meet a stove builder, Ranjanben.

Afterwards, we drove back to Barola to visit Ramilaben and Kusumben. It was really cool to meet them after working on this project for two years and having only known them from pictures and from reading reports of interviews. We made plans to meet with Kusumben tomorrow and with Ramilaben to walk with them to collect water. Afterwards, we went back to the Setco office, had a really good lunch with some of the foundation employees, and finished up some work before we headed back to Baroda.

Back at the apartment, we got the best news so far, in my opinion, of the whole trip. Our cart had finally been constructed! The prototype built here looked even better than the one that we made back home. It was very clear, for example, that even though we tried our best, we had never weaved khatlo (a type of super strong fabric) before. If you want a cool game of spot the difference, check out the two pictures below.

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With the beautiful sunny weather, we decided to take an Uber and go visit the local zoo. The tigers were beautiful, and the leopard and lion cages were so close that you could pet them if you tried. Don’t worry, mom, I didn’t try and pet a lion. As we were walking back from the exhibits through the gardens, we also witnessed a personal wishlist item of Jesse’s as a wild monkey ran across the path that we were walking and climbed over the fence.

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That evening, we went to the local mall InOrbit for dinner. Kajal and Nikita, two Setco employees, showed us around and got a sampling of tons of food court options–  samosa chaat, vegetable momos, lassis, and chaas were just a few of the things we tried. With full bellies, we took a look at some of the stores, and then headed back to the apartment to play cards and a little bit of frisbee on the terrace.

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