- We are alike
As we begin our visits on the first day, we emerge from the hotel to find a dense layer of fog/smog covering Delhi. The Sun is a bright orange ball and everything seems soft and eerie. It turns out that Delhi is in a weather inversion, warm air is trapped below a layer of cold air that has rolled in from the cool mountains trapping the warm air (and pollution near the ground). This is very much like Denver during certain times of year. But on a much bigger scale, since Delhi is a city if 17 million and the Denver area is about 2 million.
- We are different
Our travel from Delhi to small city of Agra (only 2 million says our guide) takes across the countryside. We learn from our guide that more than 70% of the population live in the country. It strikes me as a much different mix of rural and urban living than in Colorado where 75% of the people live in 25% of the land. In Colorado people primarily live along the Front Range, while in India, a country roughly 1/3 the size of the US with 1.25 billion people and almost 800 million of those are in the rural areas.
- We have alot to learn.
Our visit is primarily focused on visiting schools and studying the effective use of technology in schools across India. While our visits will begin on Monday, we see school buildings in cities, towns and rural areas as we travel from Delhi to Agra and back. One thing strikes me this weekend, even before we see the inside of one school building, I get the impression that People in this country value education. Why? We have observed that the biggest building in a village is the school. There are new buildings- schools, out in the country dotting the landscape and they are schools.
For a country where rural people live in grass huts and urban people live in shanties or on the streets with no shelter, they have managed to fund and support schools for their children. In contrast, in Colorado there are still school buildings that are 100 + years old, have leaking roofs and floors with holes in them. We have a lot to learn and this trip will give us a lot to think about.