Visiting CEE – Centre for Environment Education
Travelling by small bus to CEE this morning gave me a true perspective of Ahmedabad the city. Cars, auto rickshaw, bicycles, buses, people, dogs and cows were everywhere. The city itself is encompassed with modern buildings however, the old brick housing, slum areas and even the site of homeless families on the street living in the dirt and dust are very evident. Truly a cultural eye opener even though I knew what to expect, being in the moment in that lifestyle makes it extremely REAL… Oh by the way the breakfast buffet at the hotel this morning was good, western and Indian style food combined.
Registration, welcome kit, introductions, expectations of participants and getting to know CEE and how it works were the top agendas today.
Orientation to the program, logistics and schedule were discussed as well as the general do and don’t’s from the cultural and social outlook.
The introduction to Gujarati language, a fun informative session with Preeta was probably my highlight of the day. We went through the basic greetings and some useful words then played a couple
of games to instil those words. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and had a few laughs at my pronunciation. I love learning new languages and trying to use helpful phrases.
Lunch was at a CEE funded program called Rudi SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) cafe style business. It is like a little oasis in the midst of a busy area where you can have a peaceful,tasty meal. Plants, shelter, fans, a water feature and comfortable seating are provided. By the way my first taste of Indian buttermilk is not what I expected…rather sour and not sweet at all, not my cup of tea I would say.
Then a short briefing on projects and activities for the group in the afternoon before a campus walk with lots of information about the area, wildlife and fauna. We did get to see various birds for example the beautiful peacocks, monkeys (wild and crazy) and dogs that live on campus.
The campus is a lovely place that is set in a rainforest like area, lots of trees and nature surrounding it. They have western toilets on campus too which is a bonus for my dodgy knees, thanks for that.
Dinner back at the hotel which was Gujarati cuisine with a little spice.