Posted by: rotarytrek | January 2, 2010

Full day

Our day as a team began with a tour of a seamless pipe factory, after watching steel rods pierced under our feet (and of course having the requisite chai and cookies) we headed off to one of the main projects of the Ahemednagar Midtown Rotary club: Snehalaya (www.snehalya.org). Snehalya is an amazing nonprofit center that has several missions which are primarily focused on women and children -specifically women subjected to prostitution and their children. They also house, educate, and provide medical care for children infected with HIV. We were met at the primary facility with flowers and the traditional ceremony, after watching a video on the work we were presented with rubber trees which we helped plant. Once again, the cameras flashed and I felt as though I was mistaken for some celebrity. Also on the agenda for the day was a carnival tour, snacks, lunch, tea, more pictures, medicinal garden, break-dancing puppets, and then a pit-stop by an artists workshop.

This artist, Pramod, is a sculptor, painter, sketch artist, and all-around “swami.” After stepping over plaster waste and under giant horse sculptures we were lead to his small office where he took out a sketch pad and began to draw. 20 minutes later I truly had a doppelganger. Of course our seating made us late for our next appointment and we had to rush home for a quick shower so we could be picked up for our New Year’s celebration at 8:00. The party was at Dee’s Place and the outdoor venue was quite reminiscent of a field party. Little bonfires, loud music, and Anthony on a 5-hour energy drink, definitely livened up the party. Half-way through my Pepsi and rum our hosts were explaining that drinking in India was still relatively taboo and women NEVER drank. Oops… So I finished my drink and headed to the empty dance floor. I was having a great demonstrating my customary “Caroline-dancing”  when I was pulled aside by a couple of sixteen year old girls who giggled as they pulled me to a little pavilion on the side and told me only men danced outside. Oops…again. Not deterred I continued my dancing within in the confines of the pavillion only to be interrupted by Dee on the loudspeaker announcing that I had won the “best-energetic-dancer” award. I proudly  accepted my  prize –a box of cookies (they know me well). We hung around until mid-night and after the firecrackers died down we loaded in the van and headed back to Yasmin’s, where she insisted everyone come in for “just five minutes.” Yasmin is a Parsi (of Iranian descent) and as she put it Parsis like to “eat, drink, and be merry.” Wine (sherry) was poured and the party continued. Fortunately the glasses are quite small and after one glass all agreed the New Year had been sufficiently greeted and I fell into bed.

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Responses

  1. Caroline, you indeed had a crazy and lively evening. It sounds like you all are a hit.

    I am very excited that you all are learning about another culture. It sounds like you all are having a great time.

    Brandon

  2. I love reading about your days! It’s so interesting how different our cultures are from one another. Congrats on your award! 🙂

  3. Great update! I feel exhausted just reading about your daily experiences. Does it seem like the days are flying by since you all do so much in one day?

    K-Rob

  4. Efosa, this your mother saying hello. hope all is well. give my regards to your friends.
    love always.


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