April 20, by Anuj

Although the natural alarm clock of El 20 (i.e. the animals) has been mentioned many times before in the pervious blogs and no matter how much I try but I can’t help mention them again. Just as it was not possible to begin a day in EL 20 without the annoying sound of animals, it is just absolutely not possible to begin a blog without talking about these little, pestering creatures. After spending a week in the village, I understood why and how man became a carnivore.

I am so not a morning person and there is nothing I hate more than getting up earlier than my set scheduled time but in the village these animals ensured that I don’t get a good night sleep. It was as if they were avenging all the animals that were sacrificed to satisfy my appetite but all they did was made me eat them even more, even in my petty, small portion meals. But anyway, enough about the animals. Lets get on with the rest of day.

As I mentioned before I hate getting up early in the morning and for the last one week we had been waking up really early and walking around in the sun all day, I really needed a good sleep. On my visit to the Mayan pyramids the previous day I prayed to the Mayan Gods to help me find a solution and guess what, I woke up next morning with a body ache, really bad throat and slight fever. On any other day of my exciting trips, I would have been devasted to be sick but not that morning, I finally got to sleep. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t sad about missing the breakfast (those of you who don’t know me well, I would like to tell you that when it comes to food I’m nothing less than a jughead).

After having a good rest and regaining my energy I felt a little guilty about sleeping in my room while my friends were on field, working. So I decided to get out of my bed and assist them, because they were completely lost without my leadership (sic).  So after my shower I met my team for lunch. We had some nice soupy chicken and rice.  After the lunch we left for our final round for our final round of collecting water samples. Nayeli and me just went to two more houses. By now the villagers knew us well and always welcomed us in there houses and being with Nayeli always help, her social skills of getting along with the villagers was credible.

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After the sample collecting we met back at the eco-hostel to prepare for the co-design workshop with the villagers on the next day.

Before lunch, the part that I missed, the team consolidated all their ideas and drew the analysis on all the information that we collected from the interviews. A workshop was conducted by Anni and Claudia to bring out all the ideas from the team, they used techniques like “How might we” and “how might they”, story boarding and other ideation techniques using post-its.

Photo © Jan Ahlstedt/ALM 2015

When I returned to the eco-hostel, I saw all the walls covered with post-its. They had done a lot of work in just half a day.  We then sat and had some final discussions with Anni and Claudia about the workshop and distributed work, which had to be done at night, among each other. We all had to draw pictograms on post its to make the terms related to the workshop understandable for the villagers. After the workshop we came back to Rosa’s place for dinner.

The low energy level of team could easily be felt. It was not because we were tired or bored but because we all realized that the trip was coming to an end and after this we all will be back to the city life. We had a lot of discomforts during our stay in the village, the sleeping on hammocks, the natural alarm clocks, the sticky water for showers, the walking in the sun, but somehow we all didn’t want it to end. In the short time we got used to the life there. Spending all day with friends, looking at the familiar faces everyday, playing with the kids, annoying the animals, riding the rickshaws and all the crazy fun that we did. For me, this was once in a life time experience. I had crazy amount of fun but at the same time I learned a lot and I just hope that I am able to give ALM 2015 as much as I got from it

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