viernes, 21 de octubre de 2011

... bye for now Coimbatore

So this is the last day..... we're leaving now
Yesterday we had our last Yoga session, it was very nice

Lisa & I went this morning for a walk, rather than a run,  around the 'Race Course'... We have been the regular ones, Gaston, Vasek and Saken  joined in a few times..... there was also Mr. Iron Man i.e. Sverre who went on his own and run 4 times round the race course!
Today it was odd, as we went late (8:30 am) and it was empty! usually it is full with people exercising before going to work... we also missed our coconut lady...

Our race course run/walk

Preparing our morningcoconut

Round the race course

 And today we used the swimming pool to relax just before our flight... from Coimbatore to Madrid it will be like 24h for me....
That's all folks... see you

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,

miércoles, 19 de octubre de 2011

..last day at Sankara... emotions are still on!

Today it was our last day working in the office..... we had to complete some of the deliverables and share with the IT head, IBM experiences in managing security.

Sharing information and great discussion with Saravanan

We had the great opportunity, under Alex direction, to get a photo taken with the paramedical students! It was so great & such an enjoyable moment! Some even wanted a photo afterwards

Sverre, Alex & Mercedes with paramedic students

Some wanted more photos :)

Dr. Ramani invited the  CSC 12 team, Kabi & Prof. Alagar to Sankara to see the hospital and have dinner there. as a surprise, it was Sverre, Alex and I who were asked to explain each hospital unit to our colleagues, but I think we managed very well :)

Then Dr. Ramani shared with the team part of Indian culture we have bot been able to see in a month... He then took the opportunity to thank Alex, Sverre and I and gave us a framed picture of us three with him and Bharath  that was just taken this morning! That was really so nice and thoughtful! I was so touched.... I really appreciate it!

We then all had an excellent and special dinner at the canteen in the hospital

dinner at Sankara's canteen

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,

.... emotive days ... 2

Yesterday, Alex, Sverre & I presented to the Sankara Apex team our final report....
We had prepared well for it, but we needed to obtain the Sankara Apex team support to our proposed plan and work! We were able to deliver the Sankara Administration Manual (SAM), a Knowledge Management framework as well as an implementation plan for the SAM.
The presentation went very well and the Apex team thanked us for the work we provided.... in Mr. Srivatsan's words, 'we helped them save 3 to 4 months work'! It is very rewarding to deliver a project and work that will be used and implemented!

This is a picture with part of the Apex team after our presentation
Seetha, Dr. Ramani, Mercedes in front row. Sverrre, Alex, Mr. Srivatsan, Dr, from Coimbatore, Bharath, Saravanan in 2nd row

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,

...emotive days.... 1

....what a couple of days! So intense....
yesterday we presented our final report to our customers..... but before that, with the help of Bharath and the canteen manager,  we had arranged for Mysore pak to be bought so that we could thank each employee at Sankara. That was very, very emotive for me... over 1h30m we were meeting almost everyone in the hospital, they wandered what was the occasion for us giving sweets, and it was simply to say thank-you for their hospitality & warmth over this past month.
You can see some pictures below:
Giving Mysore Pak to one of the madam's who brought us water to our office

Alex, Sverre & Mercedes with some paramedic students

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,

martes, 18 de octubre de 2011

Around Coimbatore

...Last saturday spent part of the day in the centre of Coimbatore (Town hall) with Alex and Sverre... Initially I was more for going away for the week-end, but staying in town turned out to be a great day.... It was nice to find our way into the local market, see the temple next to the vegetables & fruit market...
Amanda and I then went for an ayurvedic full body massage and the complete team then went for a nice dinner to the Afgan restaurant..... where we could not have a drink with our dinner as it was 'dry' law because this monday there were local elections..... dry law is still on until wednesday 5pm!

Selling Betel leaves

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india

domingo, 16 de octubre de 2011

India's former president, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam visits Sankara

Last friday, India's former president, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam visited Sankara eye care hospital. It was his second visit and it was great that Alex, Sverre and I were invited to participate in the event organised in the hospital. Dr. Ramani even introduced him to us, it was a great honor! You can read his inspiring speech.
As on saturday it was his 80th birthday, he was offered a cake..... after the event, the staff, children and us also shared some of his birthday cake!
In order to celebrate his birthday, on friday 80 poor patients had their eyes operated and 80 children received free glasses!

'Mandala' at hospital's entrance to welcome Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Staff waiting to welcome former president

Former president recognising Dr Ramani & Radha Ramani for their dedication to support the poor

With the children who received spectables

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india

jueves, 13 de octubre de 2011

Mudumalai national park

On monday & tuesday Lisa, Cordula, Alex, Saken, Sverren and I went to the Nilgris, and the Siratuli team organised for us a visit to Mudumalai national park for a safari tour.  We spent the night in a local lodge and took two tours to as we had high hopes for sight seeing a tiger! .... with no luck.

¿Wild? monkeys
This is the closest we have been to  a tiger!

Abhayaranyam rest house

Chital deer

On the way there we stopped in Ooty, you can see below a photo of the famous rose gardens and on the way back, we stopped at a resort called Mystique River, close by the Kalhatti waterfalls

Ooty's rose garden
Lisa, Cordula & I
On the way back the monsoon caught us and in Connor it was pouring!

As usual the remainder photos are uplodaded

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,

miércoles, 12 de octubre de 2011

....A visit to Isha Yoga Centre...

... Last sunday we visited the Isha Yoga Centre, where our colleagues Amanda,  Benjamin & Vasek  spent a 4 day retreat!  We did the visitor tour, and as highlights we visited the Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple where we meditated for 15mn and we  went to the Theerthakun pool for an immersion. 

Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple


#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,

...'Experience Blidness'...

Last sunday, october 9, it was World Sight Day 2011 and in Coimbatore, Sankara Eye Centre organised in Brookfields Mall an event to increase awareness and support for their Vision 2020: 'The Right to Sight'.  This was aimed at the 20% paying customer base and it was great hearing today that it did pay off an that Sankara did get more customers in this week!
In the event a competition was set up for children to paint what they felt was the gift of vision and then an activity to 'experience blidness' for men & women volunteers.
Alex, Sverre & I participated as volunteers and, in separate men & women groups, once we were blind folded, and shuffled, we were to create a human chain holding hands. It was an experience in which once you were blindfolded you realised how dependent you are on others and how important it is to make efforts to help those blindly impaired.
In addition to some pictures of the event, this time we also have some small press coverage where our team members appear: Sverren is quoted in this article, and Alex, Sverren and I are photographed in the Coimbatore Chronicle & Coimbatore city express newspaper, you can see the copies below
Coimbatore Chronicle article on October 11th

Blindfolded.... ready to 'experience blindness'

Coimbatore city express, October 12th.  press coverage after Sankara World Sight day event

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,

martes, 11 de octubre de 2011

Experiencing Sankara's 'Gift of Vision'...

Under Sankara's 'Gift of Vision' programme the poorest of the poor in rural areas are given eye tests and surgical treatment free of charge.  Last saturday, Sverre, Alex and I had the great opportunity to visit, as part of the 'Gift of Vision' programme an outreach camp in Devanurpudur (in Udumalpet district), near Coimbatore.

These events are prepared in advance and take place at week-ends once the outreach department has identified a group of patients needing eye tests. The venue in which these cams are help is typically a school. The patients reach the camp, their eyes are tested and if they  are in need of surgical intervention, on that same day,  they are driven by bus to Sankara's hospital where all their needs will be catered for until the surgical intervention takes place and they can be dismissed back home.

You could see the women and men walking to the camp, and going through the tests. Those needing surgery were sitting waiting to go to the hospital. It was very emotional to see those ladies sitting patiently to go into hospital to have their sight restored!

These are some photos of the day camp:

Vision testing

Vision testing at the outreach camp
Vision testing at the outreach camp
School where the camp took place

dedicated rooms for screening
Ladies selected for surgery at Sankara

As usual more photos of the day can be found in this link

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,

sábado, 8 de octubre de 2011

Vijayadashami/Dasara/விஜயதசமி ... the tenth day festival of Navatri

In Tamil Nadul, during Vijayadashami workers keep their tools for puja on the ninth day of Navratri (Ayudha-Puja,); these are taken back and used after puja on the tenth day (Vijayadasami). The practice is so old that in many parts of south India, even non-Hindus follow this tradition.
We experienced this special Puja at Sankara hospital, you can see some pictures below. Also after the puja, the food offered was shared with all those that participated. We got cheak peas, a sweet and some rice crispies!

Puja in preparation at Sankara's reception
Decoration at the hospital's entrance

Instruments used during the year & put aside for Puja

Puja ready

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,

martes, 4 de octubre de 2011

...Navatri festival 2011

From September 28, 2011 to October 5, 2011, the Navatri festival has been celebrated.  Nav' means 'nine' and 'ratri' means 'night'. Thus, 'Navratri' means 'nine nights'.  The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga (Warrior Goddess) dressed in red and mounted on a lion. Next three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity), dressed in gold and mounted on an owl and finally, last three are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati (Goddess Of Knowledge), dressed in milky white and mounted on a pure white swan.

During this festival it is a custom, in Tamil nadu, to display a "Kolu". Kolu is adorned with dolls – predominantly with that of the gods and goddesses depicting mythology.  Dr Ramani invited all of us and Professor Alagar to his house so that we could see first hand 'Kolu' and the festivities for these days.
Kolu at Dr. Ramani's house
Kolu at Dr Ramani's house
 For this special occasion, the Sankara team (Sverre, Alex & I) dressed in our Indian costumes.
Sverren, Alex & Mercedes dressed to go to Dr. Ramani's house

We also had the pelasure of enjoying 'Gujarati' dancing because there is a group of Gujarati ladies being trained for the Sankara hospital in  Mogar

Overall, again, an excellent experience, and a great demonstration of the hospitality, friendliness, warmthness and care we are being provided by our NGO partner, Sankara

As usual other photos for the day are available

#ibmcsc ibmcsc india,