Friday, January 27, 2012

In Pictures:: Amazing Race: Coimbatore!

Jessica, Ashleigh and Jamie pose outside of "Hot Chocolate," a neighborhood favorite.

We wanted to share one of the highlights from orientation weekend for those of you reading from home!  In an effort to encourage our students to explore the city they’ll call home for the next 14 weeks (week number one having already passed), ISP staff wrote up a Coimbatore edition of the popular TV show “The Amazing Race."
Hot Chocolate sells some delightful cakes and pastries and, as this team discovered, also actually does sell hot chocolate!
It's important to ISP Staff, for reasons larger than the need to fight jet-lag, that orientation weekend isn't just made up of lectures and other events which will let students fall asleep. 
Jessica and Ashleigh pose with our favorite tailor, who works at a little local shop called "Feelings" located directly across the street from college.
In teams of three or four, our students were turned loose during orientation their first weekend in Coimbatore. It was the the first time in their busy orientation schedule that they were on their own, sent on their way with enough money to cover a bus fare for each of them, cell phones should they get lost and a list of objectives to accomplish over a three hour time span.

Jessica buys Chips Ahoy cookies, newly available at our local grocery store!
Staff’s hopes for the Amazing Race were that students, inspired (bribed?) by a sense of competition, would begin to break down some of the hesitations related to talking to people whose primary language is not their own, give them very real opportunities to learn where significant landmarks and locations are around the city as well as to help push and pull our group of eleven toward being able to navigate the intimidating ins and outs of life in India and in Coimbatore a little more confidently.

Celiz, doing a fine job of trying to push CBE's Tower of Pisa back up straight and earning a point for her team in doing so!
Their objectives ranged from things like finding and photographing the neighborhood temple to asking a local tailor how much it costs to have a kurta (traditional Indian women’s top, required dress code for classes at our partner college) hand tailored to their size to finding their way to the poo (flower) market and taking some photographs of a team member there. They visited grocery stores, fabric shops, clothing stores, restaurants and book stores, traveling by foot, by autorickshaw, and even by public bus. (They would have tried traveling by elephant, too, if it was available to them!)
Jake poses with a packet of Indian sweets
Fighting jet-lag and India’s tendency to overwhelm all of one’s five senses, our students did swimmingly!
Jamie flashes the camera her excited face while posing on top of CBE's "London Bridge"
We're hoping to celebrate their success by taking the team that accomplished the largest number of tasks out for what has been dubbed the "Winner Dinner" at a local restaurant this week to reward the students for their hard work and navigational skills!
In case you didn't get enough of Celiz trying to push and pull the Tower of Pisa back up!
Photos by Alyssa Brokaw, Celiz Aguilar and their teammates.

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