We went to Nashik to present at a school where our hosts organized a big EQ Festival with our family featured as a “Live EQ Family!” Nashik is a four hour drive from Mumbai. The landscape is flat land with dramatic hills. The dirt is red and it reminds me a little of Utah. It was really hot about 38 C. but not as hot as Rajasthan. We stayed in the home of the headmaster.
Our host family was very generous and bought us some fancy Indian clothes—and Mama got a sari. When we got to the school there we were greeted with lots of ceremonies and a tour of the school. It was a very extravagant welcome.
Our second day in Nashik, Max and I presented to two groups of students about the orangutans. We talked about empowering other kids to find their passion and start a project. The goal was not just to raise awareness for the orangutans; it was also to inspire other kids to take action on something that they care about. The first group was enthusiastic and interested. I told them about my project “Jungle Heroes” and asked them to think about what does it mean to be a hero? Their responses “someone who makes a difference, someone who does something for someone else a savior, a helper” made me happy because they understood what I was talking about. It was uplifting and encouraging to make a connections with kids in another country about making positive change.
That evening we visited a winery and it reminded me of California which was really weird. Sula Winery in Nashik is India’s largerst winery. We were there during harvest and got to see crates of grapes being loaded into machines to de-stem and crush them. Later Daddy went to the tasting room to try the wine. He said it was pretty good. But I liked eating at the winery restaurant—we got to have Italian food. Pizza and gelato were a very welcome treat!
The next day we drove an hour away to our host family’s farm where they had ginger, onion, and pomegranate fields. We also got to visit a local temple and a bank. We were driven around like VIPs. When we arrived at the bank there was camera crew and firecrackers set off.
Then we went into the bank and Daddy made a speech. The funniest part was when Max and Daddy got turbans put on their heads. Max said it felt like it was squeezing his brains out. After the bank visit, we went our host family’s home to have lunch. The women in the family had been up since the early morning making this special celebration lunch—a crepe-like bread filled with roasted lentils and ghee served with mango pulp, some pakora, dal, and rice. Everyone was really excited to have us there. I thought it was pretty embarrassing. Max and I went into the back of the house with our new friends Raj and Rahi and left Mama and Daddy with all the adults to make conversation. It was a really long weekend and I was happy to get back at our hotel for some rest.