After a 4 hour train ride yesterday evening, we arrived at our hotel in Jamshedpur. We have not yet had a chance to explore the city much but, I’ll give you a taste of the journey…
From our hotel in Kolkata we had a roughly 25 minute drive to the train station. This was a nice opportunity to see other parts of Kolkata other than our hotel. Michelle (Canada), Udaya (USA – Texas) and I shared a cab (picture above).
Once at the train station we were immediately greeted by porters who were quite eager to collect our bags and negotiate a fee to load them onto the train.
Above is a shot of our entire group including Sanjay (one of our logistics coordinators) and Mamtha (our IBM in-country advisor).
From left to right: Manju (Canada), Miguel Angel (Columbia), Sanjay, Szandra (Hungary), Mark (China), Udaya (USA – Texas), Yves (Switzerland/France), Jakob (Germany), Mamtha, Kim (USA – Florida), Carol (Brazil), me! and Michelle (Canada).
We arrived in Jamshedpur sometime after 10:30pm and were again quickly greeted by porters who were on the train collecting our bags before we could even get off. After leaving the station it was pretty dark so I didn’t have too much luck with pictures. A few shots of Tatanagar Railway Station are above.
Tomorrow we will get a chance to meet our clients face to face for the first time and discuss our projects in further detail. More to come!
After leaving Detroit at around 10pm on Wednesday, I finally arrived in Kolkata about 8:30am Friday morning (Jamshedpur does not have an international airport so Kolkata is about as close as you can get). My other teammates arrived throughout the day though many of us with longer commutes needed some immediate downtime once we arrived at the hotel. We haven’t yet ventured out into the city but the cab ride from the airport to the hotel was pretty eye-opening…
I imagine car-horn replacement must be a lucrative business here as this is just about the only thing you’ll hear. It seems to be used more to let other drivers and pedestrians know you’re nearby or coming through, instead of the more aggressive “hey don’t cut me off jerk” that I’m familiar with.
Once settled in, many of us decided to grab a dinner at the hotel’s more traditional Indian restaurant. This was really our first chance as a team to meet face to face and learn more about each other. From left to right we represent Columbia, USA, Brazil, Hungary, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, China, and Canada.
Above is the view from my hotel room overlooking the city. We will only be here one night as our train from Jamshedpur will leave later today (Saturday). Hopefully we will have more time to explore Kolkata on our last day when we return in October.
That’s all for now!…My next post will be from Jamshedpur :). #ibmcsc india
Next week our team will be heading to Jamshedpur, India to meet our clients face to face and officially kick-off our projects.
Getting to this point has been a long and difficult road that started roughly 18 months ago with my application for the IBM Corporate Service Corps. After a year of waiting for be assigned to a team, and 3 months of pre-work and team building, we are finally ready. While I’m grateful to be selected for this opportunity to give back, I’m also excited to share this cultural experience with a group of IBMers from across the planet (see the about page). As I begin my trip next week, I will do my best to keep this blog updated with photos, videos and stories from my journey!