Saturday, March 28, 2015

Beauty and Tradition

Namaste, and greetings from Chinchoti! 
Today has been a very busy busy day, starting off at 5:30am with a hike to see the sun rise. Later in the morning, while most of the group played with the children and continued to paint the school, we took part in an important conversation. We discussed ways to strengthen and further develop the bond between our schools and communities. After that, we returned home to get ready for a community celebration that would take place later that evening. The women of our host families got us ready by helping us put on our saris, decorating our hair with traditional flowers, and doing our make up. The community said farewell to us and the children performed dances, songs, and skits. This was followed by a communal dinner, where we ate a famous dish of the region called popti. It was a delicious meal of smoked chicken, eggs, and vegetables. Needless to say it has been a busy day full of tradition and beauty. We think we speak for us all when we say we are sad to be leaving Chinchoti in the morning.

Love from India,
Meghan & Katie A

Friday, March 27, 2015

Our return home

We are safely on board and ready to return to Providence. This program has and will continue to transform all its participants, both from Lincoln and Chinchoti. We thank all of those who have supported us throughout this time and in the future. Lincoln's mission is to empower global citizens. While the India program is a single step in the process, it is an important one, which we believe will help our students understand the nature our shared humanity. We return full of ideas, opportunities and experiences that reflect this nature. We look forward to sharing this experience with all of you!

Please be on the look-out for our final blog post tomorrow.

The 2015 Lincoln India Program 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Day on the Beach

After a tearful morning saying goodbye to our new friends in Chinchoti, we boarded three rickshaws and headed to Kashid Beach. Upon arrival, we split ourselves into our rooms and gathered under a palm leaf awning. We relaxed by reading and chatting until a lunch of a full fish, rice, bread, and a delicious sauce with shrimp in it was delivered. For a while we sat and relaxed, and then we gathered at the beach for a collective game of cricket. Soon the majority of the group retired from the game, and a few individuals decided to take a swim in the warm yet refreshing sea. After a short time of rest we again gathered at the beach. We engaged in a shout out circle, and discussed a talk that some members of the group had with some of the community members from Chinchoti. They explained how they discussed what the future of our relationship will look like. Before dinner we had a ten minute silent meeting. After diner we chatted until, eventually, we all retired to bed. 

- Thanks for reading. See you soon,
Olivia Small and Rebekah Potter

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Building Bricks and Leadership

Chinchoti is truly beautiful. After another great morning of moving stones, painting, and playing with the kids at our worksite, we took a hike to a nearby field where  bricks are made. From there, we continued our walk to the picturesque lake where Ms. Fogarty and her Berkeley  Caroll students had built steps for washing clothes. While we were there,     we saw the lake being used by fishermen and cows. We also played an activity to learn about our skills as leaders.

Back at our base house, we had an  eye-opening discussion with some Chinchoti women on what it is like to be a woman in India and in the United States. To end the evening, we got gorgeous hennas from the women. The day left us happy with a fresh perspective on our complex and vibrant world. 

By Fiona Carey and Aislinn Mumford 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Work Hard, Play Hard!

Good morning lovely readers!

Our first morning in the village began with a scrumptious breakfast prepared by our caring host families. We then assembled up at the base house and individually described our first nights through a rousing game of charades! We also created and introduced the acronym of MONDAY. Motivate, Observe, No holding back, Demonstrate, Accomplish, and Yes to opportunity. This served to remind all of us what it is we are here for, and to dispel any nervous or doubtful feelings. And so began our work at the elementary school. 
          The sun was intense, but so was our drive to achieve, so whether that meant transporting bricks, painting walls, or just amusing the young students, we were ready for action. The students welcomed us with waving arms and wide smiles. After a few hours of hard but rewarding work we came together for a snack and discussion. We then split up to join our host families for lunch and rest.
 Later,we arrived at the base house for journal time, games, reflection, and a dance lesson! It is truly envigorating to be able to communicate with this community through expression and emotion when our Marathi vocabulary fails us (which it often does). At the end of the day, with full hearts and stomachs, we laid down for a well-deserved night of sleep, filled with dreams of day two.

Good wishes to all reading,

Katie and Alice


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Arrival in Chinchoti

Backpacks full and minds eager, we left Mumbai for the village of Chinchoti. The first stretch of our journey was a walk to the Gate of India where we caught th commuter ferry which took us to the town of Mandava where we took a 90 minute rickshaw ride which allowed us the opportunity to observe the tropical surroundings. Once in Chinchoti we were greeted by a musical procession performed by the local band. Following this energetic and warm welcome, we met at our 'home base' by one of our lovely hosts, Reena. Reena taught us how to properly 'eat like a local' using solely out right hand. We were served lunch and then continued the daily schedule with a time of reflection and journaling prompted with the question, "what do we deserve?", along with sharing our hopes and fears for our stay in Chinchoti. Following our journaling we seperated into four groups and met our host families whom we will be spending the next four nights with. Meghan, Alice and Iman were treated to Indian Ice Cream and a nap, while Larissa, Katie C. And Aislinn learned how to dance India-style and along with Fiona, Jasmine, Izzy, Katie A., Rebecca, Kimani and others, enjoyed several hours of Uno and catch. Tomorrow we look forward to starting our community project, which will include (but not limited to) building bathrooms and painting the school. As well as continuing our exploration of the beautiful village called Chinchoti. So far we have been thoroughly impressed by the by the welcoming atmosphere and vibrant personalities that makeup this wonderful community.

Larissa (G.11) and Izzy (G. 11)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Our Day in Dharavi

Namaste Everyone!
Today, we visited the heart of Mumbai, a slum called Dharavi, where more than half of Mumbai’s population lives. Dharavi has beautiful colors and cultures alongside a certain extent of poverty. Dharavi recycles about 80% of Mumbai’s plastics and recyclables.
Dharavi’s major source of income is plastic and recycles about 80% of Mumbai’s total plastic and recyclables. The people in Dharavi cut and formed the plastic into small reusable pieces. They turned the plastic into the raw material that big corporations use such as laundry detergent bottles, water bottles, etc.
Todays question of the day was “Why are you here?” Many of us had difficulty answering this question, as we've been in India for a short period of time and it seems like a question that may take a lifetime to find the answer to. In exploring the possible answers to this question, we found it easier to find reasons why we we’re not in India; for example we are not in India to feel guilty about the daily lifestyle of people living in India. We are here to listen and learn about perspective and culture, the community in India, but also, on a deeper level, to learn about ourselves.
Before dinner we just touched the idea of the power of a conversation and relationship.  In heading to Chinchoti tomorrow, we hope to have a great journey and put our conversation skills to work.

Kimani Perry (G.10) and Jasmine Hyppolite (G.10)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Our first day

Namaste Everyone!
            We landed in Mumbai, India last night with tired smiles. After a 15-hour flight, we greeted the heat, the people, and the unexplored. After playing fun icebreakers with our fabulous in-country coordinators, we boarded the bus that drove through the hectic streets of Mumbai. With excitement we awaited the hotel destination in which we would prepare to venture into the different, busy, and beautiful streets of the city.
            We started our first day with an early rise and breakfast, which energized us for the day ahead. We then travelled by bus to Nidhi Sharma’s cold pressed juice company, Jusdivine. She shared her inspirational story of how she as a female in India grew her own business through Goldman Sachs 10,0000 Women’s program. Her drive, passion, and confidence wired through us all while we conversed about her own hopes and goals, as well as our own.
            Succeeding our visit to Jusdivine, we were privileged with the chance to visit The Gandhi Ji’s museum where we saw exhibits that explored the beginnings of Gandhi’s nonviolent movement. Afterwards, we toured the streets and markets of Mumbai where we were challenged to make observations using all of our senses. Little did we know, there was a lot more ahead of us than we could handle, but the people we know and the people we didn’t, made the experience amazing, comfortable, and memorable. 
            To repeat what one of our coordinators, Susan Lambert shared, there is no place she’s been, where a smile hasn’t worked. To end, we look forward to sharing our smiles with all the new people we connect with here in India.

Special thanks to our coordinators, who are extraordinarily spectacular!

Rebekah Potter (G. 9) , and Iman Izoli (G. 9)

Selfie with Nidhi Sharma

Aislinn Mumford having fun at the factory
JusDivine Juice

Larissa Klufas in Mumbai

Iman Izoli at the market 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

In Mumbai!

Group in Mumbai

Hello family and friends of the Lincoln School program in India! The students have safely arrived into Mumbai. They will start updating the blog tomorrow! Call with any questions - 303-679-3412

Erin Hawk
Director of Operations 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Where are we going?

13 Lincoln students and 2 advisors will depart for India on March 18! After our 15 hour flight, we will arrive at our first destination, Mumbai. Upon arrival in Mumbai we will explore this dynamic city, applying the discussions we have had on diversity, "development", colonization, stereotypes, and poverty, amongst others, every step of the way. After our time in Mumbai we will then be traveling north to the village of Chinchoti. We are excited to share this experience with you as we reflect throughout our time in India.