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JEM India Trip Blog

Joint Environmental Mission India TripWelcome to the 2019 JEM India Trip Blog

Nine students and three chaperones will be traveling to the KLE International School, our JEM partner school in Belgaum, India, for 12 days starting this Friday. During their trip, students will be visiting the beaches of Goa, staying with host families, sharing our own cultural performance, visiting local cultural sites, and learning about renewable energy in India with the KLE students.  

Thursday, December 5th

Today we are back in Goa enjoying the beautiful beaches and savoring our last meal in India before heading home. We will miss you India. Until we meet again!

Our last meal in IndiaOn the plane about to take off. Until we meet again India!

Wednesday, December 4th

On our last full day we experienced “Dhol and Tasha,” a traditional Maharashtra celebration with the KLE students and teachers.  We are wearing orange turbans, which are typically worn during Dhol and Tasha. Below are videos from our farewell assembly and some highlights from our trip. Tomorrow we head to the airport and start our 24 hour trip home. Our collective experience has been absolutely amazing and we’ve made amazing memories that will last a lifetime! We can’t wait to share more with the entire school upon our return!

Dhol and Tasha CelebrationDhol and Tasha Celebration




Mr. Cox and Mia enjoying chai from a famous chai shop in the Belgaum marketJakob and his host brother Ashutosh at a Jain TempleKarate Class at KLEKLE First Grade Class excitedly receiving the owl made by BFS's KindergartenersRubymae and the other girls had beautiful mehendhi doneHello from the back of an auto rickshaw! 

Tuesday, December 3rd

Our students enjoyed a delicious day today of cooking lessons and dancing! We learned to cook Indian food in KLE’s kitchen and then enjoyed a savory lunch that the students cooked themselves! Afterwards, we joined the KLE First Graders as they showed their amazing moves in dance class!

Indian Cooking Lessons in the KLE KitchenIndian Cooking Lessons in the KLE KitchenEnjoying a delicious Indian meal cooked by the students themselves


Monday, December 2nd

Our JEM student ambassadors have been enjoying a multitude of new experiences in India! Students started the day with traditional Southern Indian breakfast of idli (steamed rice cakes), sambal, and coconut chutney. We trekked with our host families up to Yellur Fort, an ancient fort outside of Belgaum. In the past few days we visited a wind farm and explored inside a wind turbine, visited an organic farm where we fed sugar cane to cows, and toured an Ayurvedic Hospital, which practices a traditional system of holistic medicine and wellness. Back at KLE the students performed experiments with alternative fuels on the engine rig at KLE College of Engineering and our students had a reunion with the KLE graduates who visited BFS in 2017!

Enjoying a traditional South Indian breakfast - idli, sambal, coconut chutneyMorning trek to Yellur Fort with our host families.Trek to Yellur FortTrek to Yellur FortTrekking with goats!Inside Yellur FortRubymae and her host sister Gouri climbed a tree growing inside the fortClimbing the tree inside the fortStudents exploring the inside of a wind turbine on a wind farmFeeding sugar cane to cows on the organic farmVisiting the pharmacy on our tour of the Ayurvedic HospitalAlternative fuel experiments on the engine rig at KLE College of EngineeringVarious biofuels for the experimentsReunion with the KLE graduates who visited BFS in 2017!

Saturday, November 30th

On a visit to a Venudhwani community radio station, Jakob is recorded expertly conducting an interview with the radio jockey!

Jakob being interviewed at the Venudhwani Community Radio Station

One of the biggest highlights for us has been spending time with our host families and KLE students! Here are some pictures of our time with them.  

Conducting a science experiment on fuel viscosity with our hostsCollaborative project about possibilities for meeting our future energy needs.Collaborative project about possibilities for meeting our future energy needs.Meeting the First Grade ClassesMeeting the First Grade ClassesMeeting the First Grade ClassesAfter a fantastic tabla lesson


Friday, November 29th

Visiting a botanical garden and the Badami Cave Temples.


Visiting a botanical gardenAt the Badami Cave TemplesAt the Badami Cave TemplesAt the Badami Cave TemplesAt the Badami Cave TemplesAt the Badami Cave TemplesAt the Badami Cave TemplesAt the Badami Cave TemplesAt the Badami Cave TemplesAt the Badami Cave TemplesAt the Badami Cave Temples

Thursday, November 28th

While the BFS community at home celebrates Thanksgiving, our JEM travelers gathered with their host families for a celebratory dinner in India.

Celebratory feast with our Indian Host Families

Monday, November 25th

Some photos of the group in Goa, including their beautiful accommodations. 

Goa, IndiaGoa, IndiaTheir beautiful Goan accomodation

Sunday, November 24th

Quick update from our ambassadors.  They spent the day visiting Old Goa, an UNESCO World Heritage site and touring the Latin Quarter in Panjim.  They also were able to view an art installation created for the International Film Festival happening in Panjim, Goa right now!

At Our Goa AccomodationsVisiting Old Goa, an UNESCO World Heritage SiteGoa, IndiaTouring the Latin Quarter in PanjimTouring the Latin Quarter in PanjimTouring the Latin Quarter in PanjimTouring the Latin Quarter in PanjimTouring the Latin Quarter in PanjimInside the art installation for the International Film Festival in Panjim, GoaVisiting Old GoaVisiting Old Goa

Saturday, November 23rd

After 15 hours of traveling, the group arrived at their hotel around 9:30pm and had their first delicious meal together in India!

First Meal Together in India

Friday, November 22nd

And they’re off! Our 9 students and 3 chaperones headed out early this morning to India!

And they're off!

Preparations for India at BFS

Students across all the grades have been learning about India in the months leading up to the JEM trip! From making crafts and writing about life in America to preparing videos and questions to be shared with the KLE students - BFS students from every grade are excited about this trip!

Want to see a presentation recently shared with the Middle School students about the upcoming trip? Click the photo below:

JEM India Middle School Presentation

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