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Halfway done!! It feels quite surreal.

Monday, June 18th.

Anne and Aleah are the new weekly leaders!! Today we started the day planning for SDPY (in which I composed a song about gender stereotypes) and Chullickal! We went to ESSS and ran our creativity workshop (the bookmark-making and cup of memories designed by Ila and Damilola respectively went FANTASTICALLY)—ended the night planning for ESSS 2, with dinner at Kuppath as well as relaxing and shopping (and finalizing planning for our hydration chef meal this week). Excited for the party tomorrow! Oh, also Grace and I did a ukulele + singing session with Rehan and Zenha (two of the kids at the homestay) for a little bit which was really cute (Shape of You, Despacito, Hello, etc).

Tuesday, June 19th.

TODAY IS DAMILOLA’S BIRTHDAY! Started the day surprising her with a breakfast feast, going to WIN and doing our stress management workshop, lunch at Kuppath (with some additional eggs, of course), going to ESSS for creativity part 2 and our close down (which was SO INCREDIBLY SWEET, bittersweet since we’ve gotten to know these women so well but so nice to see that they’ve learned and taught us so much along the way—today was a group mural with colored dots in the Kochi skyline as well as a recipe-making American vs Malayalam activity). Ended the night with dinner at the Tibetan Cafe (more momos, aka dumplings) as well as finishing up our surprise spa / relaxing night! Face masks, nail polish, massages by Grace and Ann, tea, Disney sing-along, etc. Excited for tomorrow! Also ended the night watching the movie Coco!!

Wednesday, June 20th.

Today we finished planning for SDPY and Chullickal at Kashi (we’re regulars now). The song I made went really well and it was really nice to see the kids grasping the idea of sex vs gender (though we didn’t have time to thoroughly go over all the material we wanted, we all felt that our experiences at SDPY have been getting better and easier along the way). Damilola and I (with Max courteously accompanying) went to go buy our produce for our hydration chef dinner tomorrow (Nigerian egg stew with plantains and boiled potatoes + dessert by Elite!!). Arjun Shreyas and I shared out life shields (essentially life stories) which was terrifying yet relieving, and then we ended the night finishing Coco. Excited to return to SDPY tomorrow!

Thursday, June 21st.

Today we went to Chullickal (went well! Did a lot of review, and managed to solidify the concepts of selecting text as well as typing faster which felt really nice) and SDPY (did a small group role play activity which went really well, and we all feel like we connected with our kids a lot more today). Spent about 3 hours with Damilola (me chopping and assisting, her cooking) making our Hydration Chef feast (which was fantastic even though we made everyone wait until 10 pm for food), played a game of S***head, and then ended the night relaxing and being excited for Anne and Aleah’s weekly leader seminar and workshop tomorrow.

Friday, June 22nd.

Today was our weekly review and fun seminar (Fishbowl) with Anne and Aleah! After this was some planning for SDPY, and then resting for the majority of the day. We also went to a Kathakali show at night, in which Grace and I got to meet the drummers afterwards which was really cool! Ended the night trying to go to POD for dinner and, finding it was closed, went back to the Tibetan cafe (this will become a recurring theme unfortunately).

Saturday, June 23rd.

Today we went to Bench Cafe for lunch, where we all got burgers—we then went back to Idiom bookshop where I talked with the owner Elizabeth a bit and bought way too many books. After some free time, I talked with one of the homestay kids about our work in Kochi and Disney, and then we went to Sutra for dinner (since POD is once again closed) and ended the night watching half of Good Will Hunting.

Sunday, June 24th.

Today we had lunch (again) at Kashi, and then had a fun escape room activity with Anne and Aleah—after debrief we assigned new roles (Damilola and Jacob are weekly leaders, while I’m maitre d) and had dinner. Ended the weekend watching some more tv/movies and catching up on some reading.