Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Scratching the surface

Tuesday was such an intense day that when I tried posting I fell asleep from exhaustion mid sentence!  We started our day at 10am I.S.T (Indian Stretchable time) and 10:30am my time :-)  I have found that India is a surprising place of extremes and contradictions.  The emotions and senses are so bombarded that I have been overwhelmed and then I realize that I have still only just barely scratched the surface.

Kumar/ Mr. Sanjay and Vijay picked us up from the hotel and we drove across town to a very large (or at least it seemed to me) temple for blessings.  The temple is called Govind Godham and not only has a temple, but a Cow Sanctuary and a lower school (elementary) as well.

Please see the photos below of our team entering the temple, standing at the altar and receiving our blessings:
 After receiving our blessings we visited the Cow sanctuary.  There hundreds if not thousands of cows that they have saved.  They have blind cows that are going to undergo test cataract surgery (if they are successful then this will become a process that will spread across India), they have cows with prosthetics, sick cows, etc... They take care of the cow until it takes it's last was a sight to behold.
Blind cows and me with the idol of the first cow
We then had the opportunity to visit the temple school created by the encouragement of Swabhimaan NGO.  The children were in dance lessons when we arrived so we were able to watch their dancing, which was a lot of fun.  There was a lovely young woman there who owned her own dance studio and volunteered at the school to teach the children dance.  I have video of the dancing, but unfortunately the color is not great so will not post it here.

Then we were off to the first Swabhimaan school that Mr. Sanjay and his friends started in 2008.  The school is gated, has proper desks and infrastructure.  When we arrived the local establishment of the Times of India was there taking photos and interviewing Mr. Sanjay and Vijay from Swabhimaan, the newspaper was published today with the photos, but we are still waiting to see a copy...will post a photo as soon as I have a copy (should be tomorrow).

Please enjoy some photos from the school:
Group photos in front of Swabhimaan school with the principle & students

The kids showing me their English work

After visiting the school, we went to our new office and had a roundtable with Swabhimaan team enjoying some local Indian snacks and further discussing expectations and existing processed and procedures.


  1. I think this has been my favorite post so far!! Love all the sweet cow faces and you with the cute kiddos. All of it has looked just amazing though. I shouldn't read your blog so close to lunch too because then I just crave Indian food. :)
    Love from the Highlands!

  2. Holy Cow - great pictures. The temple reminds me actually of KL when we met first time in 2010 ...Enjoy every minute, have fun and be awesome!