Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Visit to the refinery and more celebrations!

To go to the refinery we had to wear special accessories like a helmet and safety shoes. Obviously, they were not for my size so I had to use a bigger one (much bigger!)

Today is the celebration of lord Krishna’s birth. Hindus celebrate this date by fasting and staying up until midnight, since it’s believed to be the time Krishna was born.

Most devotees in Jamnagar go to Dwarka temple (where we’ve been over the weekend) to pray at midnight. Other temples are also crowded but especially today we were strongly recommended to stay away from Dwarka!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Some nice pics of Jamnagar and rickshaw ride!

Too tired to write today, so just sharing some cool moments and the adventure of a rickshaw ride!

Also want to thank everybody for following and commenting on my blog. I’m reading and loving them all!

Lakhota Museum

Bala Hanuman Temple: Non-stop Ram Dhun singing for 49 years has a spot in the Guinness Book of Records

Guy driving a green (toy) car!

The whole family on a scooter!

Cow at the gas station!

More cows!

Camels are also in Jamnagar!

Goats too!

Another day at the office… and the beautiful art they make every week with all kinds of material!

Last but not least, the rickshaw adventure!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day Trip to Dwarka

One of the oldest temples of India is located in Dwarka, Gujarat. Dwarakadheesh temple was dedicated to Lord Krishna as it is believed to be where he built his kingdom.

On the way to Dwarka, a quick stop to see camels!

We had a guide that showed us the place and explained some interesting facts about Hindu culture and religion.

On the top of the temple there is a flag which is changed 5 times a day! We were able to see one of the changes.

After the visit, we went to the Dwarka Island to see more temples. Although we have not seen any, the boat ride was quite interesting and we got to the farthest spot in India, very close to Pakistan!

Schools’ visit completed

At the end of this week we finished visiting schools. The five of us, together with Essar team covered 17 government schools around Jamnagar. During the visits we had interviews with Principals, Teachers and Students to find the gaps in English teaching between all of them.

Although we could find similarities, some schools were very different in terms of infrastructure, teachers’ level of English, enthusiasm and motivation and also commitment of the Principal and community.

On the other hand, was quite impressive to see how the students were motivated and wanted to interact with us. So, we played games with them, asked the name of objects and sentences in English. They were able to answer almost everything but we could notice that they learn based on memorization and don’t actually know the meaning of the words.   

Anyway, it was a good closing for our second week here but still have a lot of work ahead.


On the last day of visits, we stopped by the Essar School just to have an idea of how a private school works in Jamnagar.

Like the children from government schools, the ones from Essar School have a great potential, however the opportunities are incredibly higher. They have pretty much everything a school can offer, English lessons, music lessons, computer lab, library, school band and other activities.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is a Hindu festival that happens on August 20, which celebrates the love between brothers and sisters.

On this day, brothers tie a Rakhi (protection bracelet) around sisters wrist and they pray for a long, healthy and happy life.

As we had the day off, we stayed at the hotel working on our project. It was a very productive day, we reviewed some schools interviews and a lot of ideas came up during the day. 

                                          Katrin receiving a Rakhi from Gica!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chennai Express

As we are experiencing all about the Indian culture, a Bollywood movie could not be left out! Chennai Express is the biggest hit in India right now and is breaking almost every record at the box office.

Despite not having subtitles, was quite easy to understand the story, had a lot of music and dance!

Shopping Time!

Shopping in India is very funny and extremely cheap! Not only the prices are awesome but the way Indians do business is quite interesting and, at least for me, impossible to leave empty-handed! They literally show all the products they have and how many times you ask.

First we went to the old market where we can find bracelets for 10 rupees and also some nice jewelry! Not to mention the wonderful bandhanis!
We would not be able to find all this amazing things without the help from Guirish, the host of the hotel and our new brother (will explain this later!)

After buying tablecloths, scarves and a nice silver box, I realized that I had spent only 1,890 rupees (less than 30 dollars!)

The other day, Diti (our client from Essar) took us for some clothes shopping. Again we were surrounded by lots of beautiful stuff like dress materials, bandhani and saares (in love with a pink one but still thinking if I will ever use it!)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Independence Day

Today India celebrates 67 years as a free country. To join them we went to the Essar Town for their event. There were a lot of activities such as dancing and singing, self defense demonstrations and even a dog show!

Later we visited the Happy Children Center since they were also having a celebration party. The infrastructure was completely the opposite, but both of them share something in common… children beautifully dressed, having a lot of fun and showing all their talent!