Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 24

Today is the birthday of the Hindu God Lord Rama (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu), and an Indian holiday, called Ram Navmi. Rama’s birth place & home is in Ayodhya, in the district of Faizabad, UP (about 135 km east of Lucknow). This ancient Hindu holy city is described in the epic poem, the Ramayana, which tells the story of Rama and his battle against the demon king Ravana, who abducts Lord Rama’s wife Sita. Hindu temples all across the country, and especially in Ayodhya, had special ceremonies to commemorate the occasion.

We spent most of today working on the interview summaries and the report, although there is still quite a bit of work left on the report, which we will complete from our U.S. homes. Mr. Ojha from the Bio Energy Mission Cell at the Department of Planning (we first met with him on Monday, March 22) came by to talk to us and give us some documents on a study on drinking water quality standards, and a Government of India Program called the Rural Sanitation Campaign.

Mr. Aditya Vidyasagar of the Bora Institute (we went to the school on Friday, March 19) invited Jim & I to dinner with his family at a restaurant serving Lucknow specialities, and also to give us a documents on ground water management, and information on water challenges & potential solutions. He is very active in social causes, and is enthusiastic about spreading his message on improving communications and making communities active participants & stakeholders in managing their water resources. Dinner was late, due to the family going to the temple before dinner for Ram Navmi (it was also Mr. Vidyasagar's birthday), but very enjoyable.

Today was our last full day in Lucknow. Tomorrow will be a hectic day. After checking out of the hotel, we have a meeting at UNICEF, then head to the airport for our flight to Vadodara, Gujarat (via Mumbai) where we will tour the ITT facility on Friday and have a group meeting with all of the teams.

Dinner with Mr. Vidyasagar & his family.

This is why there's so much noise. The backs of rickshaws & buses say "Blow Horn" or "Horn Please" like this one.

One of many shops along the street selling food. As delicious as it looked & smelled, we didn't get any.

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