Friday, March 25, 2016

Hello friends and family!!

Everyone will be arriving back to Lincoln around 11:30AM.
See you soon :)

Back in the USA!

The group has landed and they will post an approximate arrival time into Providence once they are en route!

Thank you for your support and trust in the program!

Maria Selde
Program Coordinator

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hello family and friends of the Lincoln School program in India!
The students are at the airport and are set for an on-time departure.  

Emirates Flight 0509
3/24/2016 Depart Bombay (BOM) 10:00 PM
3/24/2016 Arrive in Dubai (DXB) 11:55 PM

Emirates Flight 0239
3/25/2016 Depart Dubai (DXB) 2:40 AM

3/25/2016 Arrive in Boston (BOS) 8:40 AM
Lincoln has a car service that will be bringing the students from Boston back to Lincoln School.

Please call with any questions (303-679-3412)!

Maria Selde
Program Coordinator

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Parrat Betu

Early this morning we strapped on our shoes, grabbed our paani (water) and headed to a giant field where we awaited our rivals for our cricket rematch game; American Bears vs. Indian Bears. The tournament ended as a tie game, each team having won one match. After much application of sunblock, we walked back to our homestays to spend our final moments with our host families. Moments filled with our last meals in Chinchoti, painted nails, and creating friendship bracelets and everlasting friendships. We exchanged much laughter and photos that captured our appreciation and experience in the beautiful village of Chinchoti. Our final goodbye consisted of a marathi phrase parrat betu taught to us by Krishna which roughly translates as “I will see you upon my return”. Teary-eyed we piled into rickshaws and traveled to the ferry for the second leg of our journey to Mumbai. The boat ride was approximately 40 minutes to the hotel, where we showered and prepared to share our leadership stories. These stories consisted of moments in our life that represent our transformation into leaders or why we decided to apply for the India Program. Everyone had their own personal story and it was an open and emotional few hours. For our last night in Mumbai, we returned to our favorite restaurant, Koyla, for dinner. Then, we participated in A.N.C.H.O.R, and reflected on our week in Chinchoti. Many shared their concerns and hopes when returning to America. However, the common themes were everyone’s sadness for their departure, the love for the bonds made, and the struggle for expressing our amazing and complex experiences in this colorful country.

Julia and Portia


We started off our packed day by going on a hike up a mountain to see the sunrise. On the top of the mountain we did yoga and wrote found poems from our journaling. Afterwards we had a discussion on global issues and learned about the Millennial development goals. Following that, we played an activity and had to organize the goals and decide which goals were most important. It was very difficult for us to do this because all of the goals seemed important and many of them didn’t affect us. Then we had help putting on saris by some of the local women for our dance performance. They did our hair and gave us jewelry to wear. At the celebration we watched the younger girls perform a dance and then we showed our dance to some of the community members. 
In the evening we sat on a rooftop and some of the local girls did henna on our arms. We then had a conversation with them about the lives of women in Chinchoti. Surprisingly, some of the stories that we told each other through a translator had similarities and overlapped. Tonight was the first night of Holi and there was a parade of all the people in the village carrying a large tree to burn for the long  multi-day celebration. The parade had really loud drums and a few of our homestays were outside to see it. We are really sad to say goodbye tomorrow and leave our host families. We will miss Chinchoti so much!

Renee & Katie

Monday, March 21, 2016

Coming at You Live from Chinchoti!

Today was our third day in the village, and it was full of calming reflection, beautiful saris, beaming sunshine, boisterous laughter, and lots and lots of muscle-working dancing.  After breakfast the group traveled to a fish farm where we reflected on who we saw as leaders in our life and what a leader is while absorbing the beauty of the surrounding nature.  Following our personal reflections, Susan led us in an activity where we followed her guiding prompts to determine what type of leader we generally are.  The types of leaders ranged from artisan to idealist to guardian to rationalist, which makes our group very well rounded.  This led us to the conclusion that because we all hold different leadership features we all get along well together.  We ended with a yoga activity where we all depended on each other to stay steady and it gave us a visual to the lesson we had just learned. 

            Following our activity, we headed back to the house and witnessed some brickmaking on the way.  At the house, women and girls of the village helped us but on handmade blouses and saris.  Each sari complimented the features of the wearer, which made for lovely future Instagram posts.  After a photo shoot at Ganesh’s house, we all walked to the wedding ceremony of a young couple.  We watched them arrive at the festivities and experienced some traditional Indian wedding rituals.  After a while in the humidity, we returned to Ganesh’s house and took a break with some delicious mango punch and cookies.  For the rest of the afternoon, we relaxed with our homestay families before regrouping for dance rehearsal.  On the rooftop, we practiced multiple times for our performance that will be happening tomorrow at the school.  We all mastered the moves and had a great workout.  After, we walked down to an open field and played our new favorite, CRICKET.  We all proved our awesome athletic abilities and had a great time running around together.  At the end of our time together, we sat in a circle and talked about our appreciations and observations from today and hopes for tomorrow.  Another enjoyable day in Chinchoti.

Rosalie and Kyra J

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Baduck, Baduck, Goose

We were awoken on our first morning in Chinchoti by the sounds of the village: chickens, people, music, and even a duck (baduck in Marathi)! During our morning group meeting in the main house, we played the Human Knot. After that we left the main house to experience a pre-wedding ceremony for a girl in the village. We all participated in a turmeric purification ceremony where we rubbed turmeric and rice on the bride-to-be’s face, and she had some fun putting it on our faces as well! We were generously welcomed at the vibrant ceremony by the entire community, who had all been invited. Next, Krishna took us on a tour of Chinchoti. We walked around the entire village and paused at its main temple dedicated to the monkey god, Hanuman, to discuss our observations so far in terms of customs. After the tour we all went back to our homestays and had lunch with our families. The afternoon was filled with lots of playing, friendship bracelet making, puzzling, and just talking with our families and kids in the community.
Later in the day, we all gathered to practice a traditional dance in a community member’s house. After several tries and with the patience of our instructors, the dance began to take shape. We hope to have perfected by our performance for the community on Tuesday! To end the day, we all gathered in an open field surrounded by hills to write in our journals and reflect on our busy day. It was nice to find a peaceful place away from the bustling center of the village to allow us to meditate quietly. When the sun set, we all walked back to our homestays for another delicious meal. As we sit here and write, we are preparing to see another pre-wedding custom: a dance ceremony. We are ecstatic and grateful for the opportunity to experience first hand such an important part of Indian culture. Stay tuned!

            Sophie and Portia!! :)

Haley ('18) and Sophie ('18) after the turmeric pre-wedding ceremony.

Emily ('16) blending in with members of the village during the turmeric pre-wedding ceremony.

A selfie with the members of the Lincoln India 2016 Program.

The spire of the temple of Hanuman.

A groom-to-be in a pre-wedding precession through the streets of Chinchoti.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Day Ek in Chinchoti

Our day began with a rousing game of “Heads Up! It’s Jeopardy!,” a game invented by Emily and Izzy to review our India trivia. We then packed our things and made our way to the ferry, the first leg of our journey from Mumbai to Chinchoti, where we will spend the week living, laughing and learning with our homestay families.  From the ferry, we then traveled to the village by rickshaw.  Throughout the long journey, we passed by many buildings covered in fluorescent blues, greens, purples, and more.  When we arrived in Chinchoti, we spent some time discussing our hopes and fears before splitting up to meet our families. All of the students would agree that though there were awkward silences, these silences were filled with positive energy. In Izzy’s homestay, we played an intense game of UNO, got our hair braided by Yamini, an excellent English speaker, and learned how to write our names in Marathi. 
This afternoon we were treated to an energetic rooftop dance lesson. We had lots of fun and anticipate dramatic improvement in future rehearsals! Our newly acquired skills will come in handy over the next couple days as we prepare to attend a local wedding ceremony. We closed the evening with ANCHOR, and acronym for Appreciation, News, Concerns, Hopes, Observations, and Reading.  Almost all of us shared that we are very appreciative of our homestay families and how they opened their arms and welcomed us into their home. It’s been a long day full of travel and new experiences, and we are excited for what will come next.

Izzy and Emily!!

Friday, March 18, 2016


Today we toured Dharavi with Reality Tours, an organization that Krishna founded, which is a so called slum in Mumbai. We were split into two groups and our tour guides were Krishna and Sunny. We learned today that there were jobs available in Dharavi for everyone who lives there. These included manufacturing of clothes, pottery, jewelry, and other goods that could be sold within Dharavi or throughout India. Additionally, recycling of heavy metals and plastics were a huge industry in Dharavi. As we walked around it seemed like many people held jobs in relation to recycling. Throughout the tour we were also surprised about all of the stores that were there. There were major markets that sold food, clothes, and other items that people living in Dharavi could buy. In addition, we were surprised that there were so many schools. We saw many students walking around in uniforms and we were surprised to see how many kids were able to get an education. It was an eye opening experience and many stereotypes that we had going into today in Dharavi were broken. We did not think about the fact that people would manufacture so many goods, that there would be a market, or that there would be so many schools. Our opinion of Dharavi has changed and we got new insight into the daily lives of people living in Dharavi.

Once we concluded our tour we went to the Reality Gives, the sister organization of Reality Tours, community center in Dharavi. There, we were introduced to teenagers and young adults that are taking English and their teacher, Jodi. We made friends with the students very quickly. Many of us said that they are some of the nicest, funniest, and happiest people we have met. We were able to laugh over our minimal vocabulary in Hindi, while they taught us many more phrases and words that would be useful for the rest of our stay here. We sang their favorite songs by Rihanna and Justin Bieber, as they gave us beautiful henna tattoos. Through finding commonalities between us and the students in Dharavi we got a very personal look into what life in Dharavi is like. One thing that we learned is that their lives are full of hope and optimism for the future. A woman we met had many hopes for her future and wanted to work at a call center and take international calls. Meeting the students was another eye opening experience and we were able to learn a lot about them and build strong relationships. Many of us even exchanged emails and phone numbers to try and keep connected.

After we concluded the tour we returned to our hotel and then went to dinner on the rooftop of a restaurant called Koyla.

Kara and Haley

P.S. Portia would like to give her brother a shoutout on his birthday! Happy Birthday!!!!!