Tuesday, September 3, 2013

With a Little Help From My Friends

There are 11 of us IBMers here in Jamnagar, and they have been blogging as well - most of them have in fact done a much better job than I have....so please take a look at what they have written...and you may even see "yours truly" in some of their pics....

Malcolm (from Australia) - http://cscindia20.blogspot.com.au/   (I especially like the one on the transportation options)

Peter (from Germany) - http://www.schnitzlers.de/category/peter/csc

Keith (from Canada) - http://kmackenzie63.wordpress.com/

Nina (from UK by way of Germany) - http://ninainjamnagar.blogspot.in/2013/09/going-native.html

Katrin (from Germany) - http://katrinindiacsc.blogspot.in/

More to come...

Working on the final report and presentation - which we do tomorrow!

- Elyse

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rounding the Final Turn

Our last week in Jamnagar...it has been three weeks of "firsts" followed by this final week of "lasts" - last weekend, last run to market, last Rickshaw ride.

Some highlights of the past week -

We got to visit the Essar Oil Refinery - 2nd largest in India 

With our safety helmet and Safety shoes - don't worry, we were never in danger - this is about how close we got to the actual refinery 

Another highlight was the Essar Foundation Volunteer event celebrating one year of employee Volunteering

The IBM team went in Indian costume and we spoke at the event 

Final report almost done...and shopping almost complete as well...will do a blog soon with the links to the other IBMers blogs so you can see things from our various perspectives.

Rounding the Final Turn

Our last week in Jamnagar...it has been three weeks of "firsts" followed by this final week of "lasts" - last weekend, last run to market, last Rickshaw ride.

Some highlights of the past week -

We got to visit the Essar Oil Refinery - 2nd largest in India 

With our safety helmet and Safety shoes - don't worry, we were never in danger - this is about how close we got to the actual refinery 

Another highlight was the Essar Foundation Volunteer event celebrating one year of employee Volunteering

The IBM team went in Indian costume and we spoke at the event 

Final report almost done...and shopping almost complete as well...will do a blog soon with the links to the other IBMers blogs so you can see things from our various perspectives.

Rounding the Final Turn

Our last week in Jamnagar...it has been three weeks of "firsts" followed by this final week of "lasts" - last weekend, last run to market, last Rickshaw ride.

Some highlights of the past week -

We got to visit the Essar Oil Refinery - 2nd largest in India 

With our safety helmet and Safety shoes - don't worry, we were never in danger - this is about how close we got to the actual refinery 

Another highlight was the Essar Foundation Volunteer event celebrating one year of employee Volunteering

The IBM team went in Indian costume and we spoke at the event 

Final report almost done...and shopping almost complete as well...will do a blog soon with the links to the other IBMers blogs so you can see things from our various perspectives.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

English Education Improvement


On Friday we finished our interviews and observations at the 17 government primary schools around the Essar refinery. Here are a few pics from the visits.


We are working on refining a set of recommendations that can be implemented short, medium and long term.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend in Diu

Our overnight adventure!  First stop was Ghandi's birthplace in Portbander
Exact spot where Ghandi's was born

I have a new appreciation for the Swastika - it has very different meaning here and at first it bothered me but now not so much.

Then in to Diu - first we checked out the fort - this was built by the Portuguese in the 1400s

Here is our resort 
Special lock on the room doors 

Then the coconut festival - a nice surprise - there was a coconut in this thing that the men pulled this thing apart to get the coconut tin the middle 
Then next day, the monkeys




Friday, August 23, 2013

Shopping


So far so good on the shopping front.  Over the weekend we went to the old market for some typical Bandani fabrics

Tons of choices
I got some nice table clothes.



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Visiting the Schools

Our days begin with visits to the village schools where we interview the principal and teachers and then spend some time with the children in the classrooms


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Rahki Bruce and Alan!

Today is a special day in India - Rahki. It celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters.  On this day, sisters tie a Rahki (sacred thread) on their brother's wrist.  This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well being and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her.

I got you guys some Rahki to tie when I get back - it is nice having a special day to celebrate this but I know it every day! I love you both!


Working with the Essar Foundation


First off, sorry for the delay in the blog posts - two reasons, I was a bit sick for two days plus the Internet here is quite sketchy 

So, Monday we had the kickoff with the client teams at the hotel
Our project is to evaluate English language education at the 17 government schools around Essar and provide recommendations for improvement.  With 5 IBMers on the team we able to divide and conquer.

We drive about 30-45 minutes each way to work at Essar Industries - the schools we visit are nearby - look for another post with some pictures of us at the schools.

Just like IBM, we needed to get a badge
But do we really need to include our age???

This is the lobby of the building where we work - the map is done in sand!



And - yes, there are Emus too - at work...maybe we can get pets at Littleton too?


Monday, August 19, 2013

Sightseeing

I know some of you are wondering if we will ever get to the work part - and yes we will, but not yet...

On Sunday we started the day with an orientation where we got to share a bit about how we ended up participating in the CSC.  After a quick lunch at the hotel,  we went to Lahota lake.
9 of us rode this Rickshaw... No pic of all of us in it, you have to trust me.

This is where the temple in the Guiness book of world records is - they have been chanting nonstop since 1964 - and as many of us know that means almost 50 years (cough cough)


This is the sign that says how long they have been chanting

We walked around the lake, taking in the sights and sounds
We walked across a bridge to an old armory in the center if the lake - cameras cost extra so I have no picks of the museum - but that is the armory

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rickshaw video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axIGNQ2V9fA

If you want to see a longer Rickshaw video, leave a comment

My Home in Jamnagar



In this post I will share some picture of the Aram hotel, including my room

But first, in my last post, I mentioned the cows, but the picture did not show up - here they are 

Here is the hotel - pretty much in the center of town

This is a bunch of us returning from a meal 

And here is my room

And a blurry bathroom shot

Next up

Some sightseeing with links to some videos

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day one


Ok Friends - here it goes - day 1

First of all, for my EL team, I stopped in here to let them know how well Mohinder was doing - this is a block from our hotel!

Ok - back to the start of the day (I could not wait to put the Dena Bank sighting in order)

We met at 9 am - and I got to the hotel at 4:30 am due to my unexpected detour to Abu Dahbi - but at least now I can say I have been to the Middle East!  

We took a quick flight to Jamnagar - airport is even smaller than White Plains

We went straight to the hotel and unpacked in our home for the next month

Had a typical Indian lunch in the hotel
This was very good

This was even better*


Pictures of hotel and room in next post...just call it a cliff hanger

Next we formed teams- I was part of the ladies liquor team...ok - this needs a little explanation - Gujarat is dry - but visitors can apply for a liquor license - so we did - I have no pictures of the shady alley we needed to navigate to get there - anyhow, our team succeeded in our mission and 3 bottles of wine and a bottle of Tequila later we got back to the hotel.  Here I am on the rickshaw on the way to get the liquor
Got to rest a bit and then we did a tour of the neighborhood -

Can't believe it took me this long to mention the cows

They are everywhere

After our city tour we are hanging in our common room - much nicer than our Littleton clubhouse 

Waiting for dinner to arrive 

I know this is gonna be a blast!

Monday, August 5, 2013

3 more days!

Very few items left on my "to-do" list at this point.  I am spending the last few days with my Expertise Locator project team in New York....the good news is this will make the time go fast!  I leave Boston on Thursday night and get to Jamnagar Saturday afternoon...will be planning on taking lots of pics and adding them to the blog once I land!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Video Introduction to Essar Team

video

Not my favorite thing to do - but I realize it is helpful - and the Essar team was so nice to send us an intro video...so here is mine

Friday, July 12, 2013

The road to Jamnagar

It feels like forever since I first knew I had been accepted into the CSC program.  The time between knowing I was going somewhere in 2013 and having an actual date and location confirmed was excruciating! 

And now I am less than four weeks to the big day - and just yesterday got the details of our assignment - improving English language education in Jamnagar - how cool is that to get a project actually related to "Learning" - I call that very good karma!

Now, if only I had my Visa....that is a blog entry of it's own but I probably won't go there...let's just say I am optimistic that things are now on the right track - thank goodness I have some good friends in Houston that were physically able to get things moving....

Before I had my assignment, all I was focused on was Jamnagar itself - I am hoping to get to see the bird sanctuary and marine park - and of course do some shopping for the Bandhani fabrics...
We have our first meeting with our client on July 29th - will be sure to fill you in on how that goes!

#ibmcsc