We have now entered week three of our assignment and well into the routine of work. However this is really an auspicious week in the Indian calendar - the feast of Diwali, the festival of lights. The city of Jaipur is decked out in lights and the shops are doing a booming trade as everyone is buying gifts.
Having this festival in the middle of the assignment gives us some benefits - some quiet time to do some work while our partners are celebrating with their families (many of our partner organisations are formally or informally closed during this period), but also we have the opportunity to take part in the festivities... and some times we strike lucky.
Our trip back from the Udayan orphanage and school took us back past Amer Fort and the Lake Palace (Jal Mahal). The Palace was all lit up, and there was some activity going on the shorefront - a quick request to our minibus driver to stop for 5 minutes for a photo opportunity. Our luck was in ! Within a few minutes of stopping we were being treated to a spectacular fire work display, and we had ringside seats as rockets were fired into the sky for a good fifteen minutes --- a true case of serendipity in terms of perfect timing for an unexpected event.
Driving back through the Jaipur City Walls we had another treat in store in terms of the city streets being lit up with street lights strung across the road and all the shops preparing for the anticipated roaring trade the next day.
A great end to a great day!