Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday - never a boring day

We were picked up at 9:30am wednesday morning, we have been asking to be picked up earlier if possible as there is just too much to do each day.  It was an exciting day as we were having our first networking meeting with the Pratham NGO at noon.  We spent the first part of the morning finalizing the strategy for the discussion and sending a brief set of charts to Pratham before starting the discussion.

At noon we gathered in our clients front office and called the NGO.  The discussion went really well!  Pratham has been pretty successful in implementing it's programs across some major areas in India and raising funds to continue growing as well as sustaining their existing programs.  Pratham has been around for about 20 years and IBM has actually worked with them in the past. Our team and client learned a good bit from them, but because we only had one hour not every one of our questions could be answered in such a short period of time.  However, I think there is a potential for a future partnership with Pratham once we complete our documentation and strategy.  We are hoping for similar meetings with Smile, Assar, etc....

After the meeting we had a few rounds of discussions with our clients about networking strategy and where we would like to take these types of discussions in the future.  We had worked up quite a thirst so we went out into the sunshine and enjoyed a delicious drink made from fresh squeezed sugar cane, mint and salt! YUMMM!
Making the juice

 And of course we couldn't miss lunch!  We had something we have never had before of course and it was meant to be eaten while nibbling on raw super spicy green chile's!!

After a nice break, we were able to finalize a lot of documentation and research.  I completed the first draft of the purpose and values statements, the codes conduct for the NGO, Teachers and Students, Student & Teacher incentive programs, prepared a view of the expectations of teachers as well as summarized the findings from our surveys, interviews and networking meetings.  We called it a day around 7pm.  Tej invited us over to his home for dinner and wow, it was another delicious meal!

The family also surprised us with beautiful gifts and I got to put a bindi on (a small crystal sticker placed on the forehead between the eyes), the hosts here are incredibly generous.

Another night where I barely I fell asleep within seconds of putting my head on the pillow.  Good thing Thursday was a work from the hotel day!

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