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Hand Pump Down Time Assessment – West Bengal, India

Hand Pump Down Time Assessment – West Bengal, India

September 5, 2014

Authored by Jeff Friesen, CH2M HILL civil engineer and Water For People volunteer team leader, as part two of a three-part series regarding his World Water Corps volunteer project in India. Read his first blog here.

In a sari shop doing that usual “volunteer team shopping for a sari” thing.
In a sari shop doing that usual “volunteer team shopping for a sari” thing.

One evening we took time (with GREATLY appreciated and utterly necessary help from Dipa and Sujata – Water For People Project Officers for West Bengal) to do what Richard (our Delhi-residing Aussie volunteer) calls “local dress-up” – getting properly decked-out in the local fashion. For Jenny it was, of course, a sari: an enormously-long piece of rectangular cloth that, together with a top and pants, is transformed into a gorgeous dress-like affair; but don’t try this at home folks – they are notoriously hard to do right.

Richard tries on the less-traditional denim Panjabi.

Richard tries on the less-traditional denim Panjabi.

Richard and I had it much easier – the panjabi (long top) and duthi (a very baggy pant-like wrapping) is the traditional men’s garb in West Bengal. Luckily there is a “ready-made” version – step through with each leg, pull and tie the draw-string, and you’re done. Easy! Except that we still weren’t sure what to do with all the material. Special thanks to Sushanta Gosh for showing us how to wear the duthi properly.

The volunteer team bedecked in their traditional Bengali attire.
The volunteer team bedecked in their traditional Bengali attire.

 

When it all came together, we looked impressive. We are the first volunteer team to present to the Water For People India staff in local fashion. I’m sporting traditional white, while Richard went with the denim option. Jenny looked perfect in her new jade green sari and matching jewelry. We hope our presentation was all the more convincing looking like this.

Yeah – we blend in…

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September 2014

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