- The Sholai school is nestled within the mountains of the Western Gatz, deep within a valley among jackfruit, banana trees, Silver Oak, coffee, avocado and pepper.
A biogas unit located east of the main classrooms. Sholai is completely independent with their own energy, using a combination of photovoltaic solar, microhydro and biogas.
Returning from a solo morning, the students make their way across the river which feeds the Sholai school with water for all of its needs.
Most of the food eaten at Sholai is produced on their own property. Sholai employs many people in the local villages to help run the school and support the villages with milk and cheese.
During a hike down into the plains, we picked up the tracks of what might have been a lone Bull Elephant. The first signs were grapefruit sized droppings. The area is home to a huge array of wild life, from endangered birds, wild cats, snakes and elephants.
One of the incomes which supports the school is the exportation of coffee to a small German company. Students and staff spent the morning picking coffee and preparing it for processing.
After picking the coffee fruits they need to be pulped to remove the skins from the two seeds nestled inside. After this process the beans are soaked then sun dried, polished and finally roasted.
Among are many tours in the area, we visited a conservation centre located in the semi famous hill town of Kodaikanal. All of the plants in the conservatory are endangered species, some of the last remaining on the planet.
After leaving the Sholai School we were in for perhaps our most drastic contrast. A gated neighborhood called Brigade Metropolis, located in the middle of Bangalore was our home for one evening. Witinh the gates was a Western replica of city living; manicured hedges, huge apartment building and cafes selling iced cappuccinos.