Rested! AALP Class 14 finally got to wake up from a full night’s sleep in beds that didn't flutter over land and sea, or wobble down a track. Feeling refreshed we met with our first guide of the day, a wonderful woman who had worked with Mother Theresa, has a Masters in Social Work and who passionately loves showing visitors around her city of Mumbai. Our tour was a variety of the different religious flavours of the city. We visited holy places of worship for: Christian, Judaism, Muslim, Jian, Hindu, Parsee, and Buddhism. Another amazing example of the cultures and contrasts of the wide range of lives being liven in Mumbai. After an Indian buffet lunch, where many in the class reflected on how much they were enjoying and adjusting to the foods, including some wonderful desserts, we headed off with our bus driver seamlessly negotiating the cacophony, commotion and wide variety of vehicles on the city’s streets. Our afternoon visit was to the Monsanto Farm AgVisory Services call centre. We learned about Monsanto's program which has helped over 700,000 Indian farmers with crop issues and knowledge improvement. Their two-pronged approach harnesses the adoption of mobile phone technology to deliver a proactive audio newsletter containing timely crop information, as well as a call in centre where they could work through and give farmers advice on a specific crop problem.
By the time we returned to the hotel we had all recognized Mumbai as a city of contrasts - from wealth and beauty, to poverty and despair; from goats picking through garbage on the shores of the Arabian Sea to a palm tree lined horse track. Smells from sewage to spices to marigold garlands. All found side by side and mixed together.
Steve Palmer, Adam Garniss – AALP Class 14 Bloggers