Friday, February 28, 2014

Maha Shivratri

Thursday was a holy day for many Hindus as it is the Anniversary of Shiva's marriage.  Shiva is the god of creation and destruction.  On this day, many Hindus will eat foods that have been prepared with marijuana and many will fast as well.  For more info:

It was quite a day for our team as well...I won't bore you with all of the details of the day, but will just give you the fun highlights.  After work we went to pick up the printed materials we needed for our Friday activity, her is what the certificate looked like:

On the way into the print show, I forgot to look for the oncoming traffic that could be coming from every direction and was hit by a bicycle!  It didn't feel great, but not life threatening.

Once we made it home I was tired and knew that we had dinner being delivered to the hotel so when people asked if I wanted to join them to go to the temple I decided against it.  THANK GOODNESS I MISSED THE EXCITEMENT!  They all went to the temple and of course you must remove your shoes and socks and right when they arrived a significant storm blew in Shiva's might was felt by the entire city.  We had lightening, then torrential rains, and lastly hail stones that was left a snow like blanket across the city!

The pool is on the 7th floor (the same floor our rooms are on) and water was pouring in.

Me trying out my mean face that is so popular here

On this holy day our hotel and much of the city only served vegetarian food, however somehow we were able to get food from a restaurant called Chawla Chicken.  Unfortunately, our hotel doesn't allow any type of outside food delivery to the hotel, so we had to be creative.  With the help of our local consultant we ordered the chicken and met the driver outside of the hotel.  The girls put the food in our bags and entered the hotel with no question(s) by the hotel staff.  The problem with our big plan "Project Chicken Man", was that we didn't order forks or plates, but we just went traditional and ate with our hands....was messy but delicious!


Wednesday we had an interesting surprise, we are no longer working at the office we were working in, but are now working out of our clients home office. I am not sure if this is a good idea, but with only one week left, I suppose it will be fine.

First thing Wednesday morning, we dropped off Kazu at Mr. Kumar's house and Eduardo,  Kumar and I went to the school to take photos for their social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, website, etc...  Before we left we also met their dog Howie, which is a street dog that they have provided shelter for outside their home.  She is actually a very sweet dog and really loved Kazu, kissing his arm and wanting lots of love.
Kazu & Howie
What the whole area around the school used to look like

The entrance to the school
Eduardo at work!

The kids are not camera shy!!

Happy feet!                                                  And showing off schoolwork

Me with the teachers, Pricinciple and Mr. Kumar
Just outside the school...these two kids are not going to school.                   The resident pig

Little ballerina                                                        

The last waves before we leave!
Peak a boo

All of the children, the teachers and Mr. Kumar

Once Eduardo and I finished with all of the photo work needed for the social media we went to our meeting with IL&FS, which we were hoping could be a potential partner with Swabhimaan to teach vocation training to the kids as they get to class 10 or their parents as well as offering teacher training for the Swabhimaan NGO teachers.  The facility that we visited at the Trident complex was beautiful and the programs they showed us seemed to be quite well done.  The meeting went very well, in fact they offered to teach 30 of the Swabhimaan teachers for free as soon as we could schedule the training and they are ready to have a job training seminar as early as next week, but I anticipate they will not do until April.  What a successful day!

Upon our return, Kanika, our clients wife had made us an amazing lunch (@ about 4pm), I believe there were 5 dishes plus fresh chapati that kept coming hot & fresh off the stove.
After our late lunch, we each spent time working with Kumar on our respective projects.

We had to leave work at 6pm today because we had scheduled Bhangra dancing lessons across town at 7:30pm.  Also, I probably have not mentioned that as part of our CSR work while we are on this assignment the 12 team members are asked to join together to do an event.  This team was asked to do our event with the Swabhimaan NGO.  Our team decided to do educational stations that we would run the kids through and then if time permitted after the educational bit we would kick around the soccer (foot)balls.  So, we had planned to pick up some soccer balls (footballs) on the way to the hotel before Bhangra, BUT a bus drove into the side of our car on the way to the hotel!  We were totally fine as it didn't come at us head on, but rather the side of the bus slid along the side of the car scraping paint and denting as it drove by :(  So, we experienced what happens when there is a car accident....a lot of yelling and posturing and no police.

Our clients son came and took us to our hotel so that we could quickly change into our dancing clothes and then we headed off to Footloose Dance Studio!  It was sooo much fun!  I was too busy dancing to take photos, but many of my colleagues posted and promised to give me photos & video this weekend, so I will either update this blog, or just post to a separate entry this weekend.  Regardless, it was a blast - a lot of laughs and a lot of sweat too!

Here is a video on Youtube that the dance studio published:
Photo from the dance studio:

After dancing we all went for South Indian food, but because I had already eaten a deliciously large lunch at 4pm, I just had a mango lassi.  The mango lassi was really good, I think it even had ice cream in it!