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Monday, June 11th.
Shreyas and Ila did a fantastic job managing time and being adaptable at our ESSS workshop (stress management, similar to last week’s WIN workshop) today! We began the day planning (reviewing ESSS and WIN, planning for SDPY), went to ESSS, had dinner at Sutra (the restaurant with Indian-Mexican fusion cuisine), and after printing out materials for lesson facilitation had a lip sync battle hosted by Shreyas and Ila (Arjun Aleah Phoebe Damilola and I had Bohemian Rhapsody and won, which was great). After that I did our weekly leader handoff paper with Arjun, talked with him and then Ila, and then talked to Grace—excited for tomorrow’s activites! Haven’t been feeling too well recently—car is giving me nausea, but hopefully that can be amended soon.

Tuesday, June 12th.

WIN this morning was great—the art/music workshop is always a hit, and we’re becoming much more cohesive and aware of time management as a group. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling well enough to go to the mental/emotional health ESSS workshop today—I had helped plan the emotional health discussion, but I am sure the others did a fantastic job carrying that out. We’re planning on sharing our life shields as a group this week (life shields meaning our lives past present and future as well as things that have shaped up as people) which should be really cool—excited to get to start the SDPY curriculum tomorrow! Hoping I start to feel better soon. We also had a bhangra workshop with Shreyas!

Wednesday, June 13th.

We figured out the Chicken Dosa game! We started the day planning for SDPY days 1 and 2 (and had icebreakers today, in which I worked with Shreyas and Jacob in a group of boys). We returned to plan for SDPY day 2, had appam for dinner (as fantastic as masala dosa), played Chicken Dosa and another rhythm game, and ended the night playing Mafia with about half the group—very excited to return to SDPY tomorrow and begin working on project material!!

Thursday, June 14th.

Day 2 at SDPY! We began the day working at Chullickal, where we got to spend one on one time with some of the women and teach them greater typing literacy. We went over basic Microsoft Word usage and formatting (with an extra computer, thankfully) and then headed to SDPY to play Chicken Dosa (which went very well) and have a discussion / word cloud on gender equality (which went well, though we discovered a small language barrier and that we need to be spending more time on discussions like those). After debrief was dinner by Arjun and Anne the hydration chefs (FANTASTIC ramen, eggs, and ice cream!!), a couple games of Mafia, and then the daily episodes of Westworld (today’s apparently the season finale, though the show’s generally too creepy for me).

Friday, June 15th.

Today was Ila and Shreyas’ weekly leader workshop—we did activities on public speaking and start/stop/continue as well as a challenges/accomplishments wall walk. I debated microsoft vs apple with Anne, which was a good learning experience—we then began to plan ESSS days 1 and 2 for next week (in the middle I had my 1 on 1 meeting with Tessa which was very helpful and relaxing) and we’ve pretty much finished planning for that. Before planning Tessa taught us a sun salutation, and we did yoga for about 15 min as a pre-planning energizer. I also really bonded with the kids at the homestay which makes me really happy—I watched TV and danced with the youngest sister for a while today and she reminds me so much of me when I was her age.

Saturday, June 16th.

^one of the photos from brunch feat. Jacob 🙂

Today we went out for brunch for Ila’s birthday (and saw one of the women we work with at ESSS and her sister on the way!) We then took photos outside (thanks to Shreyas, and especially his self-timer on his phone). We set up karaoke and kept Ila occupied—during the day we went to Idiom bookstore and checked out the salon, then exchanged money and set up the surprise party before dinner at Rasa (amazing paneer) and then returned for karaoke where we all gave our gifts and feasted on chocolate cake with Tessa and Phoebe. All in all a fantastic day and a fantastic (yet sometimes stressful) surprise was pulled off. Tomorrow we begin planning for another surprise birthday party!

Sunday, June 17th.

Today we went to Kashi (for the second day in a row, we’re gonna become regulars there) after more surprise birthday planning—a few of us also went a really amazing gender equality and empowerment workshop later in the evening which was really eye-opening and gave me a perspective of the world outside our project sites. We ended the night assigning new weekly roles (I’m hydration chef with Damilola, so we’re cooking something really nice Thursday), going to POD (twice, after almost heading back) to deliver a lava cake from Elite to Phoebe (feel better soon!) and then ended the night watching Zenha (one of the sweet daughters of the owners of our homestay) do karaoke with the speakers we had from last night for Ila and watching Mean Girls (which I’ve never seen, to the horror of everyone). Also, Mihir and Arjun came back from their respective weekend trips so it was nice for all of us to be together again—we’d noticed we seem incomplete without everyone there. Excited for Tessa’s session tomorrow morning as well as more planning and falling more into our presentation routine.