For the Shikshangram orphanage group, today was the start of construction for our project. We first had to meet with the founder and the in-house art teacher/landscaper to combine our ideas for a slide to get from the boys’ building to the girls’ building as well as a safe pathway down the steep hill. We were very impressed to see that the art teacher had built a 3D model of the hill with the inclusion of Shikshangram’s plans to build a retaining wall and fence surrounding the immediate area. With this, we were easily able to add our slide from a platform in the centre of the path down to the bottom. We decided to construct the path from halfway down the hill because it would have been too steep and long to build from the top of the hill. We ended up running into problems with our budget, but Satish Moon (the founder) was generous enough to provide us with his materials, workers and money that he had already set aside for the completion of the girls’ building to help us build the path.
We spent the day creating an outline on the hill of where we would be placing the stairs, platform and slide. We also cleared up site from garbage and scraps of wood. Next we searched the site for materials that could be used in a mosaic design on the platform. We found a bin full of broken tiles that we began washing and sorting into coloured piles. All of the children loved helping us sort and wash the tiles.
We later had a visit from the dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD, Gayle Nicoll and her husband. They came to India to see first hand how our projects were going. They were very happy with our concept and gave us some great suggestions and ideas as well.
Later, back at the complex, we had a visit from one of the ISAC members’ nieces who gave the OCAD students some beautiful henna tattoos. After that it was out to the Las Vegas of Malavli, Kinara Village. There were coloured string lights hung all around the open-concept restaurant, which gave it a warm glow. The first thing we noticed when walking into the restaurant was that there were a horse and camel available for rides as well as a fortune teller ready to predict our futures. Complete with a live band and playground, it was a really fun night out. A big thank you to Gayle and her husband for that treat!