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Monday, June 25th.

We started the day planning at Kashi (honestly our second home). ESSS went AMAZINGLY—new discussion + word cloud format was excellent. We also found that one of the women, Josephine, has been to Duke!!! We had dinner at Fusion Bay, Aleah taught us swing, and earlier in the day I saw a cousin of the homestay kids on their way to school and our way to Kashi!!! Also Arjun came up with a team chant (you know it’s alive when we arrive, it’s Duke GVI). Excited for WIN tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 26th.

WIN (all we do is WIN)—went very well with the new women! Though we had some issues with timing and Midhu / Shiny / other translators not all being on the same page, we (esp weekly leaders Damilola and Jacob) adapted really wel. After lunch was ESSS—I bonded with Eileen and Matilda and Rita which was very nice, and everyone seemed to really like the activites especially Aleah’s swing dance and Anne’s chair yoga. It was nice to see some familiar faces from the last cohort, and Father Sabhu also stopped by for a bit to see what we were working on. Ended the night planning for SDPY and Chullickal and resting. We also had idly for dinner which was a fantastic surprise!! During our planning session for SDPY I composed a song about consent and boundaries, and together we made a lot of headway on day 1’s lesson plan—excited to finish up planning tomorrow morning and see the SDPY boys again!

Wednesday, June 27th.

Today was spent planning for SDPY days 1 and 2 in the morning, and then going to SDPY in the afternoon—the scenarios and the song ended up going incredibly well, and it’s definitely getting easier to manage and work with the boys now. I am so proud and happy that they’re understanding the concepts we’re teaching and are open to new ideas. Ended the night having pizza for dinner (with Marco from GVI joining us) and the group playing Secret Hitler (unfortunately I haven’t been feeling great so I took the night off).

Thursday, June 28th.

Today the group went to Chullickal and SDPY but unfortunately I’ve been feeling really unwell so I took the day off—spent it reading and chilling with Phoebe and her cool stories and podcasts. Feeling a lot better, so I’m excited to be back to 100% (hopefully) tomorrow! Additionally tonight was Shreyas and Mihir’s hydration chef dinner—scrambled eggs with toast and crepes featuring lava cakes and chocolate sponge cake from Elite!! Ended the night playing catch, the cup game (all of us were kinda delirious by the end of the day), and being happy for Tess as she got good news today!! Relieved to have tomorrow at the homestay, and excited for Saturday’s backwaters tour.

Friday, June 29th.

Started off with our weekly review—conduction, start stop continue, blindfold square game, and moved on to the game Secret Hitler! The new Drake album out so we had lunch on roof and listened to it. We planned at Kashi, in which my group finished off WIN session 2 on time management and Mihir and I created a planner / goal-setting template for the women to fill out, and then had dinner at Grandma’s Kitchen—North Indian Gujarati food! Very good, especially shrikhand. Ended the night unfortunately feeling unwell, but the rest of the group had fun at Phoebe’s weekly Pub Quiz. Quite excited for our backwaters tour tomorrow!!

Saturday, June 30th.

We started the day early (6:30 am) and after a drive-by breakfast stop for muffins and bananas arrived at Alleppey! Phoebe and I took a walking tour with our guide named Pravin (such a funny guy, and Phoebe taught him her magic card tricks and he taught us his “trick”—asking the audience to pick 1 of 2 cards and he has a 50-50 shot of getting it right). We started by visiting a temple which was such a nice experience and admiring some banyan trees, then walked along the river and saw some kingfishers and tamarind and catfish along the way. On our way back we stopped for tea and had some card tricks, and then went back to the rest house. Here Salman did some WILD card tricks for us (which none of us can figure out) while we waited for the cycling group (everyone else) to finish. After lunch, we all went kayaking (helping me conquer my fear of water) for a few hours (finally finding a way to power through my nausea!) and then, after another chai break, made the drive back to the homestay, had dinner, and all of us are exhausted and crashed. Very relieved for a more relaxed day tomorrow, but grateful for the opportunities today.

Sunday, July 1st.

Wow, it’s July already! Today we checked out Oy’s cafe for brunch (quite good french toast), walked around for a bit, and had dinner at Tibetan cafe. I taught one of the homestay daughters drums for half an hour, which was really cool—she’s been wanting to play for five years so I’m glad I could give her the chance.