We started the exchange proper with a 7am breakfast followed by a briefing by the officials coordinating our program. It was pleasant to know that an allowance will be provided to us though most of our daily necessities have been well taken care of by our host!
The 5 countries involved in this program comprises of Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and not forgetting the host country, India.
A traditional cloth/scarf known as Gamusa in Assam was presented to every participant by students from the Young Indians association.
We shared a bus with the Philippines contingent and both parties being fluent in English made communication and interaction rather straightforward.
Our convoy consisting of 4 buses in total is accompanied by military personnels who would stop the traffic just to ensure we have a smooth ride to each destination. You can see one officer guiding the traffic for us to pass through. I must say that it says a lot about their concern of our safety and well-being throughout this trip.
As we are heading towards our destination, We found out that today is a public holiday in India where people would visit the temple to worship Lakshmi Puja, otherwise known to be the goddess of Wealth. Our first eye-opening experience is crossing the Saraighat Bridge that links the south and north part of Assam separated by sea.
You can see a lot of construction ongoing as we travel around in Guwahati. There's also a bridge building in progress right beside the Saraighat bridge.
The bridge is also serves as a form of "link" between the two region even if you are traveling by foot.
OH YES! We were able to see a cow on the streets of India, up close and personal. ;)
We arrived at the town of Sualkuchi and it is said that silk products that you purchase all around the world is from this very town itself. One cool fact that impressed me was that the silk is harvested from the silk worm without having to kill them during the process. Brilliant!
I love how they made use of an existing product, bicycle, in this case and retrofit it to serve as another equipment. It tells us something about their creativity and ability to adapt and improvise upon existing resources. That's not easy and somehow requires a lot of out-of-the-box thinking.
Here's how a street in India is like.
Took a picture of a stall i passed by.
You can see people selling fresh produce as well. It's more like a "kampung" style where these small businesses are serving the needs of their local community.
It's purely evident that technology and India has an inseparable relationship.
You can see how tough can be here. This truck transporting people across the bridge is extremely packed and i'm pretty sure the ride is an unpleasant one.
Singapore Contingent at IIT!
After lunch, we headed over to India Institute of Technology where a great lecture was given to us by the Dean of Student Affairs. I must that the Dean is forward looking and filled with fresh ideas and well updated. The students are really fortunate to have such great professors guiding them locally.
The last place for the day is at Don bosco institute where drop-out students are able to pick up relevant skills and join the workforce. I must say that their students put on a great show for us and brought us a truckload of joy and entertainment despite the short 1 hour of interaction. The students are really bright and have the hunger to learn so I am confident that they will be great leaders of India in the future.