India 2014, Day 7: Finishing Roshni Projects, Lotus Temple and Surprise Home Visit

After yet another wonderful breakfast, we boarded the bus to a different conference center (the ICC Annex). We finished up the different skill modules we were working on with a role-play skit and interview questions designed to showcase the girls’ new skills.
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lunchWe all had another great lunch, this time including American-style food, such as “finger chips” (French fries), penne pasta, and garlic bread. Afterwards, we began preparations for the closing ceremony tomorrow. One group practiced the Indian dance, while the other practiced the Western dance. Both the Castilleja and Roshni students practiced their respective songs, and then we dance1ran through the entire ceremony complete with emcees. dance




To finish up the day with the girls we exchanged “My Castilleja/Roshni Friend…” cards we had made, with pictures, drawings and information about our new friends.
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After saying an almost final goodbye 🙁 to the Roshni girls, we headed to the Lotus Temple. The Lotus lotus2Temple is a Baha’i House of Worship, designed to be used by people of all faiths to connect with each other and whomever they worship. It was built in 1986, and was the seventh major house of worship of the Baha’i faith. The Baha’i faith focuses on the connectedness of mankind and all religions to achieve peace, attempting to eliminate prejudice and inequality. It also emphasizes  “independent investigation of truth” through universal education and the pursuit of harmony between science and religion.  We once again removed our shoes to enter, and walked past the nine pools around the huge lotus petal architecture to enter and reflect in the central room. The silence was enriched with faithful reflection and an atmosphere of connectedness that left us all feeling the sanctity of the place.

We continued on to the guesthouse where we had some brief down time before leaving for a surprise evening activity. It turned out to be a visit to the Hassan household! The house was beautiful, and showed us a very different side of Delhi. Twenty-five unique saris were laid out for us to borrow for the evening, and we learned how to put them on ourselves .

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Then we had the best homemade authentic Indian meal so far, which we ate while reflecting with Saima and her mother over the funniest and scariest moments of the trip so far.

After dinner, we were treated to a traditional-contemporary Indian dance lesson comprising three short routines to different songs, which we will also be performing at the closing ceremony tomorrow (much to our surprise!).
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In between the dance lessons we were served homemade deserts such as kulfi (a type of ice cream dish) and a beautiful chocolate mousse cake, and finished up the evening with delicious masala chai tea. We toasted our wonderful hosts before heading home.

We are all sad that tomorrow is our last day, but looking forward to the home visits with our friends. We’ll see you in two days!

Clare T. and Haley

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