Today we returned to work with our partners at the Himalayan Public School - Suyalgargh since we were there during our April India expedition! It was a true privilege to connect with teachers and students the week they returned from summer break! After a short tour of the campus and a check up of the Solar Power Classroom and Water Catchment system, the older students welcomed the team with a thoughtful and kind welcome song.
"We made a Garland from the buds of our heart"
At the start of our Expeditions we always ensure that we calibrate the goals of our partner communities and TWSBs commitment to educational access. We took the opportunity to share introductions between HPS leaders and the TWSB Researchers and Expeditioners. Here we began aligning our research and expedition goals with the headmaster, the teachers and their teaching goals. "Mera Naam Carly" is how Expeditioner Carly would introduce herself in Hindi!
The TWSB Expedition team then went our separate ways to orient ourselves with some of the areas we will be focusing upon during our time here:
Preliminary talks between UBC Economics researcher Nick and the community leaders were held regarding the potential addition and feasibility of a school bus for HPS and their students.
A select few of the older HPS students were led in an art exercise, as well as introduced to the goal of creating a reading book with Storywriter Mala Kumar. We will be using their artwork with the help of Artist Ruchi Shah, and will compile their illustrations to create a book about the Himalayan Public School that will be published by Pratham books.
The technology that guides the water catchment system was tested pre-installation when we return to HPS after the weekend.
From there we called it a day at HPS. We saw the students off and returned to our guest house with a strong orientation over how we will proceed with our projects, and how to adapt our preparations prior to the expedition.
Today was exhilarating! It was a treat to see our projects from the April expedition being utilized. It was such a positive interaction to speak with the headmaster, Dinesh, and school founder, Brig Mohanji and hear their perspective on the mission they initiated.
We have one day over the students' weekend to gather ourselves before a full week with HPS. Our task list is high, our goals are ambitious, and our team is motivated. The teachers and students have generously welcomed us with trust, and we will return the gesture with purposeful and committed research and collaboration.
Such a thrilling first day at the school, and we're excited to hit the ground running on Monday Morning!