Goan Goan Gone

This is our last day in India, I am writing this in the international terminal of the New Delhi air port, I am with Alyssa, Melih, Michael and Jacob we have completed one lag of our 3 lag journey.  We are going to be in this airport for 10 hours before catching a 9 hour flight to London. This allowed for plenty time to reflect on the past 3 weeks. I don’t feel like I will be able to have a clear understanding for the course immediately afterwards but in time and through the process of making project 4 I hope to have this course fully debriefed in my mind.



We occupied our time with card games and come as well as looking at shops. This one store in particular was very cool, there was a reflection pond in the middle of the store and all of the product were beautifully made( and also very expensive) it reminded me of fabIndia or like an Indian anthropology.  There was 3 people playing traditional instalments and it sort of created an oasis of sorts within the airport.


Most of my day was spent sitting in different chairs and waiting in different lines, that is sort of the nature of travel. I have been trying to be productive on the flights but mentally I was only able to watch movies and relax. That’s the thing about long plane rides, they force a certain level of relaxation. I have enjoyed letting my mind think about nothing as opposed to trying to get my brain to balance so many aspects of your project. I am a little unsure what do with all of my extra brain space. I should probably reflect.


When I was on the plane to India almost exactly month ago I wrote a small list of intentions. I felt it would be better to go into this without goal presay because that creates a certain level of expectations. Instead I wanted to frame my mindset for the trip. I aimed to stay open to new people and experiences. I wanted to make my work a reflection of my observations not my ambitions. I wanted to excise empathy to help me understand the dynamics of a culture I knew almost nothing about. That is what I found most challenging during his course, trying to create something for people you don’t yet understand for a system that is new to you. I believe that it was a learning experience on many levels.

img_20170603_135126 img_20170603_143257

I am really grateful for this experience and I am aware what a privilege it has been to learn through travel, I can’t wait to get back on a plane to go somewhere new.


Till the next time, India!

Today was our last day, we are up on two hours of sleep, but somehow we are functioning. We woke up with a rush, people running around trying to finish their presentations, people packing, and others eating breakfast to get their energy for the day.

After breakfast, we were joined by volunteers from Tara Trust. We all gathered around, while my group presented our final presentation. Tricks to anyone who doesn’t like presenting: don’t sleep the night before and your brain won’t even function that well that you won’t get nervous.

While presenting, all I could do is compare my feelings from Monday morning to Friday. While the past Monday, my group and I had no idea where our project is heading, and it seemed that we were running out of time. It was upsetting because we wanted to take advantage of every single opportunity that came in our way in India, and not having a concept or a direction for our project wasn’t a good sign. But day after day, we were able to put our ideas into action and I am proud to where our project ended up. I really believe that this project can go a long way. The women we worked with are intelligent, creative, and hard working women that are thrilled and excited to start working, and just with their passion, I can see how this project can keep going after we’re gone.


At first I was upset that I wouldn’t be able to see the outcome of our work. It is like we plant a seed but we’re never going to see it growing. But as I think about it now, what is important is not for me or my group to see that we made a difference and see this change, but for the women to realise it and I believe that we helped them be on the right track to reach their goal.

We finished our project, then we headed to Oscar’s Junction for the other group to present. I couldn’t stop smiling throughout their entire presentation, knowing that they have done an amazing job, and helped Ashford find a solution to his store. I have no doubt that their project will also go a long way.

We had dinner at the guest house. Many people from different organizations joined us, it was our graduation dinner party. I enjoyed this opportunity and being surrounded with all the people and new friends. I believe that it was a great opportunity for my career as a designer and opened my eye in many different directions.


Ohhhh I’m Gonna Miss India

This morning we will leave for the airport and say goodbye to India.

Although we were able to sleep in until 10am today, my eyes still peered open by 8:00. We adopted a very specific lifestyle here in the last couple weeks. Wake up early, find time in the afternoon to nap and stay up late finishing up with project work. Last night, beyond staying up getting more henna, I packed my things, trying my best to fit the clothes, journals and gifts I hadn’t planned on buying into my pack.

This trip has been amazing and I haven’t yet accepted that we’re leaving. Yesterday we lost two members of the team, Megan and T’mikah, and this morning we’ll part ways with Liza. The group slowly dissipating only vaguely reminds me of the coming separation from India. I’m still in a daze. I guess we’re all exhausted from the last few nights of finalizing our projects, so general consciousness is difficult to hold onto.

I’m noticing all the last things that will happen in the next little while towards the airport. Last breakfast at the hotel with rice pancakes, samba and coconut chutney. Last time I gather my sink washed clothes hung around the bathroom the night before. Last morning that we scrounge for paper wifi codes fallen under the couch, lost within the mess of our living room.

Last time Raksha ushers us into the bus with her foghorn call: “Let’s goooo.”


We throw everything into the back of the van and pack into the bus.

Goodbye Jasminn!


It was always enjoyable to sit in the bus and watch the streets pass us by. This time was especially nice. Faint with exhaustion and disbelief of departure, we stared out the windows, some slept or listened to music and it was overall a serene ride. For one last time I soak in the colours of the buildings, the vegetation and the baurs and birds we pass by on our way to the airport.

Here comes our last airport adventure.


As it comes time to board the flight, Genevieve, Jake, Maddy, Melih, Michael and I say our goodbyes to Sarah. Once again we are on our own. I am extremely thankful that this program was put into place and it’s feeling more and more real that we were are now splitting up from the close knit group we had formed over our time in India.

Bye Goa!


Landing in New Delhi, Genevieve leaves us to begin her own journey of travelling India. The rest of us prepare for a 30 hour flight journey home. Before coming to India I wanted to instill a less stressed mentality about things. Our culture seems to be rushed the majority of the time and I easily fall into this busy lifestyle. Instead I’ve wanted to become comfortable sitting and being without letting my mind run towards what to do next, what to accomplish next. India helped reinforce this state of mind. The airplane journeys definitely helped reinforce this idea – slow down, allow for boredom to pass by, but be able to enjoy being present without having to be constantly stimulated.

We were all warned about the culture shock when going to India, but I never thought about the potential culture shock coming back to Canada. It’s been such an immersive experience that I’m not sure how to immerse myself back into my former life. Something I do expect is a more critical perspective of the way I live in Toronto.

On the airplane, I give the newspaper a good look, expecting it to be the last Indian newspaper I’ll read for a while. It’s clear to me that I’m going to miss a lot of things about India, newspaper articles are definitely in that list.


With a 10 hour layover in Delhi, Maddy, Melih, Michael, Jake and I count down the hours by playing cards, enjoying a cappuccino and chocolate muffin deal and exploring different shops. I’m finding that time passes more quickly than you would think. pic7

We stayed in one store for quite some time, listening to their live music band, looking at the memento merchandise and sitting with our feet in a pool of water. A very commercial view of India, but quite the calming stop for an airport.


This is also where Maddy realized that it was her birthday! And so began her 33 and a half hour birthday across three different continents and time zones.

I feel very lucky to have joined this group and had the opportunity to go to India. We’ve seen so many new ways of life and it only makes me want to learn more about the world.

You can build an idea of a country, you can read books or articles about a culture and hear about people’s lifestyles second hand, but it is so different to step into a space and walk within a culture. I am so glad that we were able to see what we did of India. One of the most important things I’ve left with is the understanding that I will never have a full understanding of India, or any country for that matter. This isn’t a disappointment and it’s in no way discouraging. I think it’s rather humbling and exciting to understand that the world is so vast that there will always be more mystery to explore.

Adieu Goa.

So, it is the end of this journey. It is the end of the three weeks that passed so quickly. Tonight, we are finalizing our presentation and our preparation for the final presentation. Even though I am so whiny about the food and the heat, I think I will miss how relaxed I felt in India. The energy that people spread out here is amazing.

Usually, I think about the social issues that we have in our world and I am an emotional person so since we got here, I’ve met so many people who are struggling in life but the thing that I noticed was that they always carry their smile on their faces. It is both so beautiful and sad at the same time… I knew that this program was going to be an eye-opening experience for me and make me discover more about myself as it happened. So many people shared their life experiences with us and made me realize how privileged most of us are. Sometimes just a little thing we are dealing with turns into a huge mountain but we do not realize how small the issue actually is. I think we should start being grateful for things that we have and be happy with small things. All I can say now is that I believe this is the key to happiness in life.

Okay, so this part of the blog will be non-emotional.

So today my team went to women’s house who we are working with to show our logo ideas in order to understand how they would like to be represented and they showed some techniques that we want them to learn. Yesterday night, I drew somewhat coconut shapes on a fabric to create the sense as it is printed for them to get it sewed today. I also worked with photoshop to add our patterns on the products.

bahtroompnik living-room