It is the first day of our last week here in Goa. For the Oscars junction group, that means material sourcing and prototyping. With little time left, it is important we stay on schedule.
Our challenge is to make a grocery bag with locally sourced sustainable material that’s is uniquely Goan for Oscars Junction. The bag also has to be easy enough for the women of Kiran Niketan to make it in their homes or in the community center.
Jake and I started off the day by heading into Margo with Sarah and Aaron to do our second round of material shopping. While shopping, I saw a woman in the crowed of people with a reusable bag, I walked over to speak with her. With a sense of pride, she told me that she was born and raised in Goa and that she always brings a reusable bag to shop in order to avoid using plastic bags. It was good to see this kind of thinking locally and that people are willing to talk about the initiative. These are the kinds of shoppers we want to appeal to for the project. After managing the crowds in the hot beaming sun, we were on our way to the car when Aaron spotted someone else with a Jute reusable bag. We spoke to them, they explained they bought if from a well-known grocery store, Star Bazar. The proceeds of the bag go towards children’s education which made their purchase mean more than just buying a regular bag.
When we arrived back at the guest house, the prototyping was already on its way with Maddy and Michael. After lunch, we got to work eminently because we need to have a ready version to show our client Ashford tomorrow. With little time left every moment count for us.
We started off our Mumbai weekend with a visit to the Kanheri Caves. As we approached there were numerous Monkeys throughout the trees. The Caves where an ancient Hinayna and Mahayana sects Buddhist Monastery from BC to 11th century AD. The sun was beaming down as the group made our way though some of the 110 Caves dispersed throughout the hill. The architecture was dictated by the natural slope of the hill. It was clear that each cave was made for a different purpose from a dining hall to a meditation room, to living quarters. The group was amazed by the preservation of the structures and the different sculptures of buddha. We later learned that Buddhism was once one of the main believes with in India due to the influence of the king at the time named Swami Vivekananda. The Monastery was active for 1200 years and has been preserved since.
After the Caves we stopped to see the world’s largest outdoor Laundry service located in downtown Mumbai. The service stated with multiple laundry business opening up in the same area. The government eventually paid for out doors concrete tubs for the business. Now is very common for establishments such as hotels or any downtown business to use this service.
We went to lunch at a well known Mumbai restaurant called Leopole Cafe. It gave us a nice break after the active morning. After lunch our day was filling with activities consisting of bargaining at the market, aweing at the Taj Hotel, understanding the history of the gateway of India, seeing the first train station built by the British, smelling the spices at the downtown food market, and we finished the day by admiring the floating mosque at sunset. Seeing the busy city gave me a lot of context about the the history of India an how certain infrastructure came to be.