Over the past week or so we have been having a surprising amount of fun in ol’ Yamuna Nagar. We had settled into an after-work routine of doing something active (running around the college track or kicking a soccer ball around the field), finding a new place to eat “downtown,” and then watching a movie or writing our blogs in the evenings. But, this healthy and productive routine did not last long because, it seems, we have developed busy social lives.
One reason our social lives have bloomed is because LEAP has had many occasions to celebrate. LEAP’s beloved employees celebrated many “LEAP anniversaries,” birthdays and family milestones in the month of June. After celebrating several of these events with food, cake and dancing in the office, we decided to celebrate Saloni’s last day at LEAP by going to a Bollywood movie in the theatre after work. The movie Dil Dhadakne Do, is a hilarious, light comedy that traces the melodramatic lives of a wealthy businessman and his grown children. Narrated by the family dog, Dil Dhadakne Do was surprisingly easy to understand even though it is three hours long and it did not have English subtitles. The storyline was predictable and characters’ reactions were exaggerated, which made the humour understandable (most of the time). Bonus: every character in Dil Dhadakne Do is extremely easy to look at.
But, enough about our new obsession with Ranveer Singh. This week we were also invited to a co-workers house for dinner. Niharika is one of LEAP’s dedicated trainers. Her kindness and willingness to help us find the things we need around town is overwhelming. Her family is extremely generous as well. They fed us a five-course meal (including two special desserts: one from her mum and one from her dad). It was by far the best food in town. Her father also gave us a thorough tour of the city and took us to the temple where we each had a chance to ring the bell.
Aside from the company of co-workers, we have started to get to know the people we see daily as well. For instance, the man who sells samosas down the road recognizes us and reluctantly smiles occasionally; auntie in the canteen cooks our favorite dishes for lunch; and Isha at Beauty Palace has found Bill all of the hair and cosmetic products he needs.
(Shopping with Isha at Beauty Palace)
Although we have been busy developing thriving social lives we have also managed to maintain focus at work. This month Leora and I are working on some very exciting projects. We are helping to develop a fixed induction training program for new employees and we are planning workshops for a two-day training program for LEAP’s current trainers, which will be conducted next week. The program will feature workshops on experiential learning, classroom presence, discussion leading, incorporating technology in the classroom and effective feedback, among other topics.
Finally (for now), we are doing further research the skills development ecology in India. It is so fascinating to note the rate at which the field is developing and diversifying. Last semester I read a significant amount of research and wrote a few papers concerning the viability of skills development as a solution for India’s growing unemployed youth population. Since writing those papers potentially significant steps have been made by the new Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship including a tentative draft of their long anticipated National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015. Staying updated on developments in Skills Development in India is complicated and exhausting because there are many different types of public and private stakeholders and programs already in place. Learning about various approaches to Skills Development is increasing my understanding of the urgency for more research in this field.
PS. Happy Canada Day from your two favourite Canadians in Yamuna Nagar!!!