iHi, it's Emily!
Today started with a group discussion about the fashion industry, solar power, women entrepreneurship, and food security. After that, we were invited to join the village in a celebration of Holi. We watched a parade, danced to traditional music, and celebrated with colors. They were all so beautiful and the joy from the children seemed endless.
We had a few hours in the afternoon to eat lunch and spend with our families before preparing to perform a new dance for the village. Our host grandmothers, mothers, and sisters dressed us in beautiful saris and did our hair. When we met at the dance house, everybody looked beautiful. The porch outside transformed into a stage and many people of the village came to watch. The performance went really well, and two of our veteran dancers, Mariah and Maddie, were asked to perform the dance as a duet. There was so much love as they danced.
Following the dance, we had a conversation with the young girls in the village. We were able to ask questions and also answer questions on topics ranging from what challenges arise from being a woman in India and America, to our tastes in food and music. Before closing for the night, we headed to a parade to celebrate Holi. There were drums, music, and dancers everywhere. We joined the dancing for a few more hours before heading back home for our last night in Chinchoti.
Hi, Chapo (and the rest of the fam)! See you soon! - Lupita
Hey, Everyone! Miss you and I'm excited to see you soon! -Mariah
Shoutout to the fam and everyone back home! Miss you and see you soon! xoxo, Sophie Z.
What's up, palz! -Maddie (is the) Best
Hi Everyone! Just got back to Mumbai. We apologize for not posting on the blog regularly. There was limited internet in Chinchoti and our schedules were packed, especially due to the festival Holi. Hopefully tomorrow, during our last day, we will get to blog. Here is a pic of our morning hike!
Emma & Emma
Tuesday, March 19th
Hi everyone, it’s Guadalupe, Maddie, and Celeste! Today was an eventful day. We began with a walk to Dhudali Lake (Milk Lake) where we did group bonding activities and took pictures of wild horses! THE SCENERY WAS AMAZING!!! After we spent some time with our homestay families and exchanged hand games. Later in the evening we went back to Prajoti’s house to practice the traditional Indian dance once more. Then we went to Alibaug market and were split into 4 groups. Each group was given 300 rupees to buy something we each haven’t seen before. It was an amazing experience to get to explore the city. Then we went to Alibaug Beach to observe the environment and had some journaling time. WE EVEN SAW CAMELS!!! (but we didn’t ride them L). We then ended the day with dinner at Lilak restaurant. It’s safe to say that we are getting well fed! After a long rickshaw ride to Chinchoti, we gathered at Prajoti’s house to do our ANCHOR. As we were walking back to our homestay, we heard music from the distance. We were then invited by the people in the village to join the celebration. It seemed like everyone in Chinchoti was there! We danced in the streets and watched as the men in the village played music and carried a tree decorated with magnolias. We all felt privileged to have been a part of this. Finally, we went to our homestay and celebrated our homestay parent’s anniversary. We had some cake, gulab jamum (similar to munchkins but 1000 times better), and took some really cute pictures together. We are all having a great time in India and we hope to see you all soon.
Maddie’s shout out: Hi mom, dad and Alex!
Guadalupe’s shout out: Mamí, Papí, Melitzi, Danny, y Chapo (y los pajaritos L… just kidding!) <3, Hi guys! ¡Los extraño mucho! Gracias a Dios, todo esta bien. ¡Estoy disfrutando mucho de mi viaje! ¡FELIZ 7 MESES CHAPITO! Por favor dale muchos T’s y belly rubs a mi niño hermoso en mi parte. Cuidan a mi Nene y Chiqui J. Los veo pronto <3. Besitos, Piki
Celeste’s shout out: shout out to the fam!!! P.O.P. hold it down! Cica I’m leaving you in charge of lil’ K and big D(kiren and David). Tell the Jays I said hi and I wovveeee them and give them a hug and lots of kisses. Smother them in my love.
Shout out to the OG pops Hot Nix on the Mic keeping that cash flow alive !! lots of love my brethren. And tell aunty Nayanne that I said happy early birthday and the countdown begins. Tell Olivia I said hi and I love her.
And Fabris. I was planning on cracking a joke at ya but I honestly miss you brethren. Major key.
Hey, it’s Emily and Rosie! Today was an exciting adventure of traveling and being the group’s team leaders. We started the day in Mumbai with a walk to the Gateway of India where we got on a ferry to Chinchoti. During our ride in rickshaws, we saw cows, different shops in the local markets, and schools, and we visited a temple along with a rice mill. When we arrived at the village, we were greeted with a welcome ceremony from our homestay families and got a tour of the village. We spent some time playing games and hanging out with our families and friends. After, we came together for a traditional Indian dance workshop taught by our homestay sister, Prajoti. As we are both in the same homestay family, we got the pleasure of cooking with our homestay mom, Rajena. Then, to wind down the night, we made ourselves at home and relaxed by enjoying each other’s company. Today was an exciting day, especially the rickshaw rides for Rosie. It was a day filled with many physical challenges, such as the heat and walking a lot. It was also filled with emotional challenges as we had to cope when things changed among the group. At the end of the day, we would like to appreciate our gratitude for our homestay families. Our hopes for tomorrow are that the group feels rested and keeps an open mind for whatever comes our way.
Hi Alex! I miss you! See you soon!
Hi Mommy, Daddy, and Gracie! I hope you’re not too bored without me! I love and miss you mucho!
Xoxo, Rosie Ru
Eliza, Madeline, and Sophie Z here!
Today, we visited the biggest slum in Mumbai, Dharavi, which houses 1 million of Mumbai's population. As group leaders, we were given the challenge to act independently from the group, including tasks like buying train tickets for the whole group (a conversation which took place in our broken Marathi) as well as organizing cab rides back to the hotel.
Here we are demonstrating how busy Mumbai's trains get during rush hour. We were fascinated by the train car labelled "For Ladies Only".
Our main activity today was visiting Dharavi. In films like Slumdog Millionaire, this is portrayed as a crime-infested, dirty area in the middle of Mumbai. Come to find, this is not true. In fact, we found a loving community full of resourceful people, their beautiful homes, and a fair amount of goats! Besides animal life, we really enjoyed learning about the business prospects in Dharavi: it is the hub of most manufacturing coming out of the city of Mumbai. There's an incredibly strong entrepreneurial spirit among the residents who recycle plastic, fabrics, and anything that the city leaves behind. Out of respect for the residents of Dharavi, we didn't take pictures inside the slum.
After touring Dharavi, we went to the Dharavi Community Center founded by Reality Gives, the NGO side of Reality Tours, who we toured with. We were able to converse with some of the students in the Center's English program, one of their very successful opportunities given to Dharavi residents of all ages, but particularly women. One of the highlights of spending time with them was our impromptu talent show: The students of the Dharavi Community Center showed us some Bollywood moves and a show-stopping, body-rolling routine to "Confident" by Demi Lovato. In exchange, Madeline demonstrated Irish dance in special celebration of St. Patrick's Day, Mariah performed a ballet variation, and Celeste introduced the art of step to Dharavi. (Look out, Lincoln Step!)
We ended our time in Dharavi with hugs and promises to message our new friends on WhatsApp. This was all in all an incredible second day in Mumbai.
After Dharavi we took taxis back to the hotel. We then had an hour to reflect on the experience through journaling. Some journaled in the park, some on the rooftop of our hotel.
While journaling in a nearby park this evening, a few of us were treated to a lovely spontaneous moment in the form of a few playful children stopping by to ask if they could write or draw in our journals.
Emma & Emma here!
We actually had to ask ourselves -- is this only day 1? The group has joked that we've lived many days in one, not quite knowing how our body clocks compare to the local time, and today having brought us so much to take in. Here are some photos from our travel and first day in Mumbai!
We made it to Dubai, and later, Mumbai! Here are some travel stats --
Total number of travelers: 15
In-flight movies watched: 20+
Hours slept: this varied...
Number of tries until we nailed our group head-count ritual: just one!
Steps walked with full backpacks: too many to count!
Across-the-board excitement level: high!
Saturday morning brought a meet-up with the group from Berkeley Carroll School of Brooklyn, NYC who just finished their trip to our in-country host Krishna's home village in the South. They had just taken an overnight train ride, but still were up for sharing language and bargaining tips. (They say hi, Ms. Fogarty!)
After lunch, we visited Gandhi's house, and we took note of, among other things, this framed quote by its former resident and Indian independence leader: "To call women the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman... If by strength is meant moral power then woman is immeasurably man's superior... If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with women."
After a bit of much-needed rest, we walked around the corner on Saturday night to dinner at a beautiful rooftop restaurant. What was particularly special about this meal is that all of the students sat together, as opposed to across two tables, as space had necessitated earlier in the day at lunch, and we group leaders often looked over to see them laughing over games or sharing their high points and hopes. They are just terrific!
Walking around Mumbai's busy streets -- where we practice very carefully crossing as a group! -- brought us earlier in the day to the beautiful Banganga Tank. We sat on the steps, catching solo moments to write in our place-books, floated in and out of pairs and groups, taking in religious ceremonies happening in the water nearby, and before we left, were treated to our own ceremony of sorts involving a splash of spring water and some refreshed travelers.
It's hard to believe tomorrow is only day 2! Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog post from our leaders of the day: Eliza, Sophie Z, and Maddie M.
All the best,
Emma & Emma
13 new Lincoln students and 2 advisors (Emma Stenberg and Emma Alexander) will depart for India on March 14. The students have been participating in the India Program since Winter Break, engaging in extensive readings, discussions, anthropological studies, and personal reflection.
Upon arrival in Mumbai we will explore this bustling metropolis, applying the discussions we have had on politics, religion, gender, poverty, bias, and exchange amongst others. After our time in Mumbai we will then be traveling north by Ferry to the town of Chinchoti. We are excited to share this experience with all of you!
See you soon,
Maddie, Guadalupe, Ella, Rosie, Emily, Celeste, Brigitte, Mariah, Sophie, Sophia, Eliza, Sophie, Maddie, Emma, and Emma (yes you read this correctly- 2 Maddie's, 2 Sophie's, 1 Sophia, and 2 Emma's)