Weeks! #46: and it is hot wherever I go

2014-11-10 09.51.40So Mumbai and I begin the week with pretty much two full days not leaving the hotel and conferencing and working. With our Minister in attendance.

These trips are always pretty intense but when you have a Minister around and you need to make sure everything is running smoothly as well it adds to the general level of full-on-ness.

2014-11-10 14.29.36Here is me with Joanna my person in charge of India and Megan the Chair of our working group on India. We were debriefing.

One of the things we like to showcase is the highly talented products of our vocational education system. Here is Jessica Martin who was a silver medallist at Worldskills and Morgan Clementson who was the runner up for Apprentice of the Year demonstrating their skills.

2014-11-11 12.59.55I facilitated a session in which Tara was speaking – she was challenged to take a selfie while on stage so I acted as the world’s biggest enabler.

While I didn’t leave the hotel for two days, the views were still spectacular. I particularly loved the Sea Bridge which is 5.6km long (we drove it on Sunday).

When Joanna and I finally next stepped out of the hotel Tuesday night it was to head to the very spectacular new Mumbai international airport. Our flight to Hyderabad was the tail end of an international flight. Being at the airport late on a Tuesday night we got a sense of the story of global skilled labour migration as we watched lines of single men filing into planes bound for the Middle East. it was a sobering reminder of how the world works in these areas and some of the social challenges of labour mobility.

2014-11-12 08.59.25After arriving in Hyderabad late in the night, here was the view from my hotel room window the next morning.

2014-11-12 11.47.48The hotel was quite spectacular too – so much marble!

2014-11-12 12.55.27After spending the morning speaking to members of the India Economic Service – high level economics focused public servants – about skills and skill development, we went with them to Dialogue in the Dark. It is an extraordinary experience – you eat lunch in the complete dark before being taken through a sensory experience, also in darkness. The people who work as guides are blind – it must be so empowering for them to suddenly be more in control than us sighted folk. It is interesting too how intense and focused your conversations can be when there is nothing but the sound of each other’s voices. I never expected to spend a lunchtime discussing Indian economic reform and the Australian vocational education system while eating curry while unable to see anything. I must admit I was pleased I was wearing black too – otherwise no doubt there would have been curry all over a white shirt!

We also visited a training provider in the afternoon who taught construction skills and met one of the few Indian female construction teachers. I wasn’t quite sure that thongs or sandals would be approved footwear while laying bricks in Australia.

We also had a visit to the markets in Hyderabad, where it rained heavily on us but we also managed to pick up those last presents.

2014-11-13 15.38.24The next morning I was up at 4.30am to fly to Delhi and from there home. Once again I got to witness the weird sight of clouds through the tinted Dreamliner windows.

2014-11-14 00.28.01I had half a day in Canberra to wash myself and some clothes before James and I were off on another plane to Queensland.

2014-11-14 16.30.26It was funny – the Minister ended up the row in front of us on the plane so I checked in with him about his return flight. He’d been back a day earlier but then had had to be in Canberra for Cameron’s address to Parliament so was feeling at least as exhausted as me. James and I headed to Ipswich on arrival and found ourselves dinner before I eventually collapsed into bed.

2014-11-15 07.48.50We were at the Ipswich showgrounds at 7am the next morning for the kick off of the men’s national roller derby championships. The first game was Capital Carnage playing Scartel – the team from Brisbane City Rollers featuring my good friend James – Copter to the derby initiated. I was, however, firmly on Carnage’s side.

2014-11-15 07.56.07Slams, Sir Gestive and I are here ready and waiting for the action of the first game. In the end, the Scartel won, but it was a well fought game and the Carnage boys did a great job.

2014-11-15 08.53.30Of course, it was around 40 degrees in a tin shed and it got pretty hot. Especially after you’d been playing derby.

2014-11-15 11.56.41-1It was hot so drinking was required but the only beer was Four X. A girl has to opt for cider then.

The boys played their next two games in their hot pink alternative strip. They were very proud of it and it got them a whole lot of love.

2014-11-15 09.28.36Copter and I watched some games together. Here we are being amazed by the Bass Strait Brawlers – Victoria Vanguard game. So close. I was cheering for the Bass Strait Brawlers because (a) underdogs and (b) Sausarge Rolls. Though it could be argued that Vanguard were the best looking team at the nationals….

2014-11-16 07.39.55James and I had dinner and breakfast at the same quality restaurant. We were very tired in the evening. Sure James played three games of derby but I sat watching in 40+ degree heat and it is very tiring cheering and shouting.  And I did still have jet lag.

2014-11-16 08.33.43It was so stupidly hot I resorted to thongs for day 2. I never wear thongs. Queensland made me do it.

342014-11-16 08.54.13-1More derby watching. Carnage did well to get themselves into the game versus Light City, but, while competitive, couldn’t quite take it out. With two wins for the weekend however, they could certainly consider that they had acquitted themselves well.

2014-11-16 10.26.09The fan provided some relief from the heat even if it did mess up my hair.

2014-11-16 09.56.38In the end it was Vanguard’s weekend and they came out well deserved winners even if I was still cheering for the Brawlers in the final. Blurry celebratory photo.

2014-11-16 18.09.58And so the first men’s nationals were done. You can see from how Slams looks in the next photo that it is completely true that spending an entire weekend watching derby in the heat is as tiring as playing! well, that’s our argument and we are sticking with it.

2014-11-16 20.43.05

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2 Responses to Weeks! #46: and it is hot wherever I go

  1. amanda says:

    I love your photos of the airport – I couldn’t capture that roof but I read it is supposed to look like a white peacock tail. Also, marvellous to read about Jessica and Morgan.

    • Melissa says:

      It really was amazing – even driving towards it I was like “wow”. Jessica is lovely and such a great performer as well, which is probably what makes her a terrific hospitality person and i don’t know Morgan personally but her story is fantastic.

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