Today was our only planned training day in the office. We will defintely need another day. When we got into the office the internet wasn’t working. We tried three different USB hot spots, finally “borrowed” internet from one of the other office computers. We thought we can set up the team’s workflow to make it streamlined while Matt and Jilu would work on the print newsletter, so they would use my laptop.
One thing after another kept going wrong. photoshop wouldn’t activate because there was no internet. Lightroom couldn’t be installed. Transferring files over was taking so long it was terrible to bear. Around 1:30pm I was feeling really frustrated. The term from Blood Diamond, TIA comes to mind… except it should be TII (This is India). Even the 3g data cards we bought were not working.
Sandeep and I went out to check out a print vendor we might order posters from. The prices were okay, but i am iffy about the materials. Printing on canvas seems to be the best option but I’m worried about the image quality.
We then took a train to an area where all the computer shops are at. This was pretty neat. It was good to hang out with Sandeep. He’s a great guy.
- got hard drive
- train ride back, subs on rickshaw
- super rich mosque
- mumbai fun facts (see twitter)
After we got back we finally got work done. We showed Ballu how to update the website homepage. Shibu got Lightroom installed on the machines and adobe activated.
Around 5 the rest of the gang joined us in the office and surprised Shibu with a cake. The cake looked awesome. We then took a walk to Jeevan Jyothi again, with the girls. Us guys were really worried about anything happening to the girls, so we took extra precautions, even prohibited them from speaking. It actually worked :)
Getting there was cool. The kids were singing when we got there. we also got to go to the roof of the building. Raj showed me a ladder to the very top and without even thinking i started climbing. I hate climbing ladders and this one was at least 25 feet and made of rusty metal. But the view was awesome. Shibu and I were up there for a while taking in the view and making the most of this photographic opportunity.
We went back down for a while more. The kids sang to us and then we announced it was Shibu’s birthday. Shibu said some touching words and even started to choke up. I was recording this from the side and even I started to choke up. The icebox is melting.
Sandeep called me away and says big Raj wants to take us up to one of the buildings to take photos. This isn’t a BTC building though. It’s a high rise that isn’t quite finished yet. The doorman either knew Raj or didn’t care, but he let us take the elevator. Raj shows me a stairwell with a great view from a window there. He tells me we can get to the roof, if we can find someone who will let us up. We go to a different floor and he knocks on a random door. The guy inside lets us in and Raj starts to tell him about BTC.
Originally we were planning on taking photos from this guy’s window, but there was enough furniture in the way to make it a difficult task. So the guy goes to the front lobby and asks for the roof key. Residents of the high rise are usually allowed, but since he mentioned he was letting us go on the roof, they were giving him a hard time. The guy threatens to complain to management and put up a fight for us to get the key… he just met us a few minutes ago! Amazing!
He accompanies us to the roof area. The view was stunning. I borrowed Shibu’s camera since he had better lenses for night photography. I’m not used to a Canon at all, and it showed. For the first twenty minutes I had no idea how to change the aperture. So I basically rested the camera against a cement ledge and used my chin to stabilize it. I’m sure Raj and the other guy were wondering what the heck I was doing. But I got some great photos either way.
By Alex Kuryan: “Unfortunately, the day didn’t get off to a great start. Larissa, Shainu, Vicki, Sue and I had employment visas that required us to register with the Bureau of Immigration within 14 days of arrival. If we did not do so properly, we would not be allowed to leave India on our scheduled departure date. I won’t go into details, but due to a poorly organized, confusing immigration office, various bureaucratic inefficiencies, this process unnecessarily took over 5 hours. However, the women and I were able to have 5 hours of bonding time to talk about our families, sexual slavery, and some of the amazing but also sad stories of several BTC staff members. We also squeezed some time in to complain about the Indian government. As an added bonus, I also learned much about buying and negotiating for saris and Indian outfits as Vicki had spent some time the other day shopping for her upcoming wedding (my wife, Sara, will be happy to hear about that part). At the end of our ordeal, Raj (who Larissa mentioned in her post yesterday) came to pick us up on his motorcycle along with his 18 month old son, Mark. We needed to meet the rest of the team in Bandra (about 13 miles away). As a rule, only four passengers are allowed in a taxi. Raj arranged a taxi for the four ladies. He then asked me to hop on the back of his motorcycle for us to make the trip to Bandra.” Read the rest at the Seven Mile Road blog.