We arrived to Rishi Valley on the afternoon of Tuesday the 11th. Signs provided the way to the offices, but still the campus kept us busy, wandering and exploring for several days.
The early morning mist provided beautiful light around Rishi valley. The best times of day to go for a walk was the early mornings and evenings, coincidentally the best time to make photos.
In the back ground Rishi Valley can be seen. We went for a walk nearly every day during our stay. Several of the hiking points were named by the students: Windmill Rock, Lion Rock, 360 point and the Three Sisters to name a few.
Brockwood students and staff sitting upon Windmill rock on a hike led by Ramola (upper right) a staff member at The Rish Valley School. The rocks are some of the oldest on the Earth, dating back at least 3 million years, making Rishi Valley one of the oldest areas on Earth.
We rose just before the break of dawn to head out with Shantaram for a birdwatching walk. The area is home to over 220 species. This time of year is particularly exciting for birdwatching because of the migratory birds from the Himalayas.
We visited the Rural Education Centre, an outreach program initiated by the Rishi Vally Educational Centre. The class room consists of four main areas demarcated with four tables in this classroom. The tables counter clockwise from lower left are set up as follows; Teacher assisted learning, partially teacher assisted learning, peer assisted learning and independent study. In this way the students are taught to help themselves and one another, as well as allowing them to learn at their own pace.
The Rural Education Centre is a flagship school for several hundred rural schools around the world. During our visit the children asked the teacher if they could put on a shadow puppet performance. Although the play was in Telugu, we understood that it had something to do with a monkey and several crocodiles in a forest.
Beside the several educational projects at Rishi Valley, there is also an effort to care for the environment. The reintroduction of the local livestock, Ongole cattle, is of significant importance. The Ongole faces extinction due to government pressure to increase milk yields.
Sunclipse behind the hills which watch over Rishi Valley; Rishikonda, Middle Peak and Bodikonda.