January 18

Our day in Bhavnagar started out with a presentation from Rajendra Ship Breakers. The original plan was to go to the shipyard, but because of a security clearance issue, we were not longer able to tour their facility. This is a prime example of the bureaucracy in India. During the presentation, we discussed methods of shipbreaking, the importance of recycling materials, and the economic effects of globalization on shipbreaking. After the presentation, we were able to tour part of their recycling facility, where materials are made to send to individual buyers.

Following the tour, the shipbreaking company hosted a lunch at a resort in Bhavnagar. The meal was a traditional all-you-can-eat Indian buffet, consisting of paneer (cottage cheese  cubes), nan bread, yogurt, rice, and vegetables in curry. We’ve all developed a taste for the various spices that this country offers!

The day concluded with a visit to a Hindu temple in a renovated ancient cave where we participated in a religious ceremony. After visiting lots of temples and mosques throughout our trip, it was great to be a part of a small ceremony. We each received a flower that we put in a basket to offer to the Hindu gods while the pandit (Hindu priest) chanted a good luck prayer in Hindi. We proceeded back to our hotel, a renovated old palace, where about a dozen little girls performed a cultural dance for us. Some of our classmates joined in and learned some dance moves at the end. We ended our night on the hotel lawn with a delicious buffet dinner sponsored by Rajendra Ship Breakers. It was great to experience a more rural part of India, and we are excited to continue our journey in Mumbai!

Laura Van Drie and Lauren Kiddy