It was a productive day of work, although there was still the opportunity to take breaks for chai tea and for Tommy to participate in a playful game with some of the girls from the village. There is still some doubt over who won, if there was a winner at all.
We also took a brief excursion during the working day to visit a nearby well that has been previously developed through Sahyog's projects. The well is 15 meters deep and is used to provide water to nearby farming land and while it was funded through multiple sources, the adjoining farmers contributed 40% of the costs. The on site visit to the well helped to reveal the extent of Sahyog's projects within the local area as well as reaffirm that outcomes are reached through empowerment, collaboration and consultation.
We left the job site at around 1pm after a solid day of work under the hot Indian sun. When we returned to the palace we found that Bob was thankfully feeling much better.
Following lunch the team decided to wander the streets of Bhindar and take in what the town has to offer. We were again the subject of much curiosity with many of the locals keen to greet us as we walked past. We even found some familiar faces from Sahyog down at the local material shop. They informed us that they would visit the palace at 5.30pm with shirts for the men to try on for the upcoming celebration. This was in addition to a local sari maker coming to the palace to conduct a fitting for the ladies.
We learned that today is 'Money day' in the Indian calendar. In the lead up to Diwali this day is a traditional day to purchase gold and/or silver, as it is believed that if you purchase it today it will have doubled in value by this time next year. As Diwali approaches a number of townsfolk have been busily preparing by decorating their homes or businesses with themed items or with lights. It is very much their version of putting up lights for Christmas. We had a guided tour of the streets of Bhindar prior to dinner. Amongst the various lights and artwork that adorns the pavement outside many shops and homes, there is the sound of firecrackers being set off throughout the streets.
The countdown to Diwali is on and it is sure to be a party that our team will remember! Of Course we'll join in any way we can.
Udaipur, India: October 2014