We have arrived… And what a beautiful place this is!
After a long journey with hardly any sleep, we arrived to the airport of Bangalore yesterday around 10am. There was a driver waiting to take us to Rishi Valley and he looked rather surprised at the prospect of having to fit 5 such tall people and their backpacks in his car. Luckily it was not a problem and of we went through the outskirts of Bangalore and in to the countryside of South India. From our air-conditioned taxi, we were slowly introduced to the sights of this area. Huge termite hills, monkeys, markets, stalls with young coconut, rice fields, motorbikes and three-wheelers , brightly painted gods and goddesses in shrines by the side of the road, flower garlands, women in saris carrying their load on their heads and men herding their cows.
We are still slowly adjusting to the temperature, the food and the rhythm here, but there is plenty to do! Yesterday we ran in to a dance class, rehearsing for a big performance this weekend. We sat there mesmerized for quite some time and learned some things about the meaning of the facial expressions and hand movements in Indian dance. We had a meeting with the coordinator of the rural outreach program, who explained about the community work that Rishi Valley is doing in the area. The school is in the middle of a watershed and the area is classified as a special development zone, which means it has some environmental protection by law. The campus is beautiful, lots of trees, greenery and flowers around. There are parakeets, monkeys, lots of big butterflies and huge bats!
Last night we hung out with the local cow herd, there was a calf of only 5 days old, so sweet and sooo soft! Then we had dinner with the director and some other Brockwood people that are here at the moment; Derrek and Wendy, both trustees, Steve, a former teacher and Gopal. After dinner we went back to the dance class to see one more rehearsel. After this… we were super tired and went to bed straight away.
This morning we went to visit the rural school, where the children from the surrounding village go to school. They have developed a special learning model, where each child learns at their own level, in teacher supported, peer supported or individual groups. The classroom was open, with all the children working on the floor, surrounded by their maths and artwork on the walls and ceiling. We played games with them and sang songs. Both the kids and we got super excited and had lots of fun.
Now we are just about to start a yoga class with the Rishi Valley staff.
I will try to put op posts a bit more regularly, but the power cuts out quite often, and so does the internet…
Petter will put up some photo’s of our adventures later today!