Woke up at our hotel in Delhi to a delicious breakfast at the hotel, make your own omelet and a variety of other tasty treats. The first stop of the day was to the Lotus temple. After waiting in line and entering the gateway there was a large beautiful garden surrounding the temple. Bright blue water fills surrounding pools almost like a moat. Before entering you must remove your shoes, we rushed in because our feet are not used to the hot ground. When entering the temple it was like nothing I had ever seen before, light shone through the petals in a symmetrical manner surrounding the ceiling. The sound of silence and birds chirping filled the space and two large vases of flowers filled the space with a lovely aroma.
Let me tell you, the next stop of the day was pretty much the opposite of the calm and peaceful experience we had. It was around a 30-minute drive to Old Delhi where we got into a tuktuk for the rest of our journey for lunch. How many OCADU students can you fit in a tuktuk? The answer is 6; we swooshed into two banging into one another as we weaved through traffic. At any moment you could put out your arm in any direction and touch another car, tuktuk, person or cow. Driving in India everything feels like a close call. One thing I have noticed about the culture here is everyone seems to be fearless.
Our last stop of the day was to a market where we shopped until we dropped. Did I mention that at all times you feel like you are in a sauna?! That didn’t stop us from bargaining for good deals and running around from tent to tent. The bus ride to the airport was like a show and tell – everyone excited about the souvenirs picked up for friends and family (friends and family reading, get excited.) By the time we got to the airport and rushed onto the flight everyone’s rosy faces looked ready for a nap. After admiring the bright blue lapis coloured sky with bursts of orange we landed back in Mumbai safe and sound. During the three-hour bus ride back to Malavli we sat in our groups and discussed plans for the upcoming week. After going over details I am pretty sure everyone on the bus fell asleep (it’s hard to say for sure because I was fast asleep as well.) All in all the day was a bit of a roller-coaster from calm to hectic, but an amazing day.
Today was decision day, and let me tell you it was not easy, as we had to choose the organization we would be working with for the duration of the trip. We started the day by discussing all three organizations and our thoughts and feelings on them and potential projects. After a delicious lunch we got back to work making lists of pros and cons for all three organizations. Then we started the difficult task of trying to figure out which two organizations to work with and which one we would have to tell we are choosing not to work with. After this mindboggling decision we had the task of figuring out who was going to work with which group. We took a break for dinner to have some time to ourselves to think about this choice we had to make by the end of the evening.
During this time we went to get fitted for our sari blouses. We were warmly welcomed into this families house where they had a variety of sewing machines and motioned to us to take a seat on their bed as we took turns getting fitted. We brought our materials that we had previously chosen a few days earlier and got to choose the cut, style and extra embellishments. Choosing the style, cut and additional bling for the blouse was in in itself many decisions to make.
On the walk home we were passing Farooq’s (Member of ISAC) house where we were invited in to see his home and meet his family. His home was like nothing I have ever seen before; first of all 35 family members live there and it is a huge house with 5 kitchens, many bedrooms common rooms and one dog with his own small hut. As we sat on a swing sipping chai tea something came to my mind that Arron the project director said the other day “In Toronto you become friends with someone and then you invite them over; in India you invite someone over and then become friends.” This is something I hope to take back home with me. After returning back for dinner things seemed to fall into place and everyone ended up content in their groups. The two organizations we will be working with are Shikshangram (an orphanage) and Sadhana (a humans right organization.)
Major: Material Art and Design
I am a 3rd year student in fibers and minoring in photography; I am interested in incorporating encaustic painting and photography into my fiber practice. A major theme in my work is up-cycling and working with environmentally friendly materials. My work is mainly inspired by nature and culture.
I am so excited to go on this adventure to India and for the opportunity to design in the real world. I look forward to working in a team of students from different faculties. I plan on bringing lots of material back with me for my thesis in the fall!