Saturday, January 19, 2008

January 16, 2008 Our first presentation

There is no internet access at this host’s home so I am typing this in Word to be posted when I can later.
Got up and had breakfast at my hosts, Drs Satish & Vani Ihrkal then went to meet the rest of my team at the Dharwad (pronounced Dar-war) Rotary Club. After another breakfast there (and they wonder why I’m never hungry!) and many ceremonious introductions, we gave our team presentation. It went pretty well considering there was some dispute about whether they wanted the short version or the long version! We did the longer version that still needs to be trimmed down some and some of the people left part way through to go to work. Bernie, our team leader, had modified his and I can tell he practiced it because it was shorter and smoother. It was well received. They gave us gifts and leaves and symbolic coins and fruit which I can’t eat (I’m sort of allergic to bananas). We exchanged Rotary banners with them and they gave us theirs and also miniature flags of India which were made at the factory we visited yesterday. Everything was symbolic and with great ceremony. I also got to hear the Indian National Anthem for the first time. It is almost chant-like and quite beautiful. I believe it was sung in Hindi as that is the national language here. After the presentation there were lots of group photos taken which seems to be a recurring theme so far in our travels. Everyone has to take pictures of everyone. There is always a camera present for everything! Often there are 5-6 cameras being handed up to get photos too while a new pose is taken. We are being treated like celebrities. It is a little strange being the “Americans”.

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