Meanwhile in Jamnagar…

Holly cow! That would be the most used words in the streets of Jamnagar…there are many more animals in the streets than cows though. My favourite are camels 🙂

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Field visits – 1

Outdoor phase of our assignment started on the 3rd working day. After first two days in the office we started to make interviews with local farmers in surrounding villages with our local co-worker and guide Bhimsi Bhai (Bhai = local word for brother, used when talking to a friend). Our field visits were planned throughout the rest of week 1.
Our first visit was at a market facility –  APMC (Agriculture Produce Market Committee) in Kambalya – where farmers purchase their goods to traders. During our visit peanuts (Peanut = Ground nut in local language) and castor seeds were traded.

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We asked a couple of questions to one of the farmers. And many others were attracted by this unusual activity.

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Watch the short video from the interview with a local farmer: http://youtu.be/9qAq-jU5crg

Afterwards we sat down at commissioner’s office and obligatory tea time. 

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Afterwards we headed to a Beraja village where after a first discussion (and a tea) we made the first visit in local Agrishop with stuffed shelves with chemicals.

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Next visit – village Vinjalpar. Discussion with the local authorities was mainly in Gujarati and the view out of te window was interesting again 🙂

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After the discussion we were invited to a farmers house for a tea (this part we already expected). Generally, the local people are very kind and friendly to us, very often asking where we are coming from, or just stop by and say hello, good morning. It’s very nice, this would not happen in my town.

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People here drink the tea from tea tellers rather than cups which had (of course) consequnces on my t-shirt and jeans. Below is the correct holding of the teller but at the first time I grabbed it differently which caused a lot of laughter and no one knew why, only after a while we realized what’s happening when the farmer who invited us grabbed the teller the same way as me and entertaned the audience :D.

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(2nd part will follow)

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At SAVA office

On the second day we were introduced to our NGO – SAVA which we will work with, for the rest of the month.

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SAVA stands for Saurasthra Voluntary Actions and their goal is to improve lives of people living in this region through different natural resource and development projects. They do a tremendous job, I can tell.
On our first tine in the office, we were welcomed very warmly by the SAVA team.

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And Bhimsi showed us where the NGO operates.
The office is very simple, nothing noble but sufficient.
Our work consists of interviewing all kind of stakeholders, gather as much information as possible and eventually 

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come up with ideas how to solve their issues.
Discussions were long but very helpful

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I need to mention also the lunch which was very delicious. It was prepared by woman from neighborhood who cooks lunches for livelihood.

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And the view from the office:

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At last, the plan for field trips for upcoming days:

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Masala chai

We went for a chai to a street chai seller just behind the corner in the morning. The masala chai is amazing, I really like it. It is cooked together with milk and sugar and many different spices, I was able to recognize only cinnamon and pepper. Perfect deal for just 6 Rupees.

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Day 1: Mumbai – Jamnagar

Right at the start of the journey in Vienna I met the first member of my team in person – Gica who was travelling from Brno and taking the same flights. In Zurich we were supposed to meet also Katrin traveling from Stuttgart but we unfortunately met only when we got out of the plane in Mumbai. The flight from Zurich to Mumbai was fine, watched a movie ( Olympus has fallen 🙂 ) and slept almost the whole time. Before we entered Indian air space,we flew through Afganistan and Pakistan where I thought it was not allowed to enter the air space. But athe beautiful sunset was worth of it.

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In Mumbai we changed the money and not surprisingly, MG is everywhere.

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Arriving in Mumbai at 11pm it was still very hot and humid outside. We were already expexted and taxi took us to the hotel. The traffic in Mumbai is incredible…totally chaotic. There were no accidents in the streets even though you think you are going to crash to a bus from one side or a rickshaw driving in front of you. There are no lanes and everyone is driving towards the free space on the road. So full respect for the local drivers. Everything works somehow fine untill the cows appear on the road. There were 5 or six cows in front of us and just had to wait untill the went aside and we were good to go on to the hotel.

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In the morning the next day we finally met the whole team and had some good time at breakfast together. Starting to move to the national airport for the flight to Jamnagar. Drive with a taxi was, ehm…as expected…:D, the only difference was that I was sitting in the front seat and saw everything what was happening on the road.

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The airport was ok and we had time to rest and to have a coffee with the team.

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The only issue seemed to be checking the departure time 🙂

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Finally in Jamnagar. Arrived at the hotel. Looking forward what’s gonna happen next.

Corporate Service Corps Project in India

Hello everyone,

this is my first blog on the assignment I am going to participate at with 10 other IBMers from all over the world.
The 1-month assignment takes place in town of Jamnagar, state Gujarat which known for birth of the Father of the nation – Mahathma Ghandi. These days also for developing industry and alcohol prohibition…not that usual to be seen nowadays.

First I thought it’s going to be much warmer weather in Jamnagar where the temperatures are around 30 degrees all around the year, however it turns out I was wrong. Last two weeks in Bratislava were extremely hot with temperatures reaching to 39 degrees of Celsius in shade. After this summer,  Jamnagar appears to be a cool place to stay :).

Next blog with more details on the project will follow soon.

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