Archive for the 'Trips' Category

A day at Shibumi school

Former Brockwood Park School Mature Student Noe Marcial and current staff member Amel Ouhammou visited a school in India, which is inspired by the teachings of Krishnamurti. “Shibumi school is a study and learning centre for both adults and young people of school-going age. For adults it offers a space where, through dialogue, one understands oneself and relationships in the light of Krishnamurti’s teachings. For such interested adults only, Shibumi also offers an educational programme where resource persons and parents cooperate in creating a right learning environment for their children.” While there Noe, Amel and Victor made this video titled ‘A day at Shibumi school’.

Brockwood Park School in France

Towards the end of March, Yannick, Gea and Fazila spent four days at the Vivre Autrement Fair at Parc Floral in Paris. The fair was exceptionally busy this year and they had much interest not only from prospective families wishing to inquire about their child joining the school, but also from those who have had a long standing interest in Krishnamurti and had just discovered the existence of the Study Centre here at Brockwood. Story and photos by Fazila Benoit.
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In the heat of Chennai

Happy new year everyone! I am sure it will be a good one :)

Another week has gone by… The last time I wrote we had just arrived at the Valley School, and now we have been in Chennai for a few days already.  We are staying at Vasanta Vihar, the headquarters of the KFI. It is a beautiful green haven in the midst of the city. The people here are taking super good care of us and it is interesting to get a bit of a taste of the city life. There is a music and dance festival in the month of January here and we went to a dance performance the other evening, tonight we will explore the music scene.

Back in the Valley School we spent quite a bit of time in the art village, where the students and staff were preparing for the Mela, their annual festival. Lots of crafts for display and sale were being made, such beautiful things! It was lovely also to be able to spend some time with Rupert, a former Brockwood staff member and we got to hang out with Vasudev, a former Brockwood student who lives very close to the Valley School. On new years eve, we took the train from Bangalore to Chennai. I have to say I could get used to travelling first class!

It is really nice to meet so many people during our travels that are connected to Brockwood one way or another. Last night for example we had dinner with Ahaliaji, the oldest member of the community here at Vasanta Vihar. At 91 years old she is still very active within the foundation and she has spent quite some time with Krishnamurti. She told us of some of her experiences with him and it was very interesting to hear her talk about the time when they were both young. She even confided to us how handsome he was!

Part of being in the city for a few days is of course shopping! Yesterday we all went to the tailor to select fabric and get our measurements taken, on Monday, just before we leave India, we should be able to pick up all our tailor made shirts and trousers. Exciting! Apart from shopping, we visited the Theosophical Society, which is around the corner from Vasanta Vihar, and today we spend the morning at The School, meeting the teachers and students of our sister school here in Chennai.

Tomorrow morning early we are going to Auroville, a universal city in the making :) James and Philip have organised this part of our journey and we will spend three days there before coming back to Chennai and then England. We will be staying with Duncan, a former Brockwood student, on his farm. We are all looking forward to spending a bit more time in the countryside of India before returning to England.

That’s it for now!



Out of the Mountains and in to the Plains

We left the mountains, and have entered the plains once again… Our stay at Sholai School seemed almost like a holiday, in a beautiful quiet and natural setting. The last couple of days at Sholai, Petter and myself were not feeling so well, we caught a bit of a flu virus on the way, which slowly went around. James felt rather unwell for a day or two, then I got it and was sick for three days, then Petter got a mild version for a day or so. Luckily Murali was there to take the boys on walks and they even spend a day learning about the cheese the school makes in it’s own dairy. The last day, just before we left, they climbed up a waterfall nearby the school, which feeds the river going through the Sholai land. And especially for Philip, this was a gratifying experience.

The bus ride back to Bangalore awoke us somewhat cruelly to a completely different reality again. We left at 7 in the evening on an overnight semi-sleeper. The first part, going down the mountains, left half the bus feeling terribly carsick and vomiting. My theory is that they ate too much before getting on the bus. And yet, when we stopped after three hours or so to take a dinner break, most people got of the bus, emptied their bowels once more and then happily went in to the restaurant to fill themselves up again with food before getting on for the next part of the journey. Sorry folks, don’t mean to ruin your appetite or enjoyment of this blog! But I sure felt glad we had decided not to have any dinner before getting on the bus, because a trip like that is much more bearable on an empty stomach. We arrived in Bangalore at 4.30 in the morning, took another bus to the central bus station and then another one from there to our B&B where we would stay for one night. The place was in a gated community on the edge of the centre. We arrived there at 7am and stepped right from one extreme in to another. The streets of Bangalore are hot, full of people, cattle and traffic. There is an overwhelming sense of chaos and pollution and there is garbage everywhere. People are selling their merchandise on any empty spot they can find, it is colourful, full of life and constant activity. The gated community however, was clean, quiet, upper middle class, with it’s own little shopping centre and offices, a bank and post office. There were playgrounds for the children, a gym and several cafe’s and restaurants as well as parks. When you entered through the gates, it was as if the air-conditioning got turned on, there was a constant and refreshing breeze and if you wanted, you could stay within this gated community without ever really having to venture in to the chaos of the city.

We decided to explore the world of malls for the day. If only to do something completely different form what we had done so far on this trip. Our first stop was Phoenix mall, supposedly the biggest, newest and most westernised mall of Bangalore currently available. It happened to be right around the corner of the gated community we were staying in. We had high expectations of the place but it was exhausting more than anything… But we were still ready for more and decided to go to the Hobbit in 3D in another mall that evening, and before that have dinner in an organic restaurant near by. So, in to the auto-riksha and off we went again. It was the first time we went to a restaurant since arriving in India and there was so much choice on the menu we were completely overwhelmed. But how exciting it was to have salads! And big ones at that too. The movie was good but rather painful to watch. I would definitely not recommend you watching any low quality 3D shows. We all ended up with red eyes and sore nose bridges. But hey, we went to the movie theatre in India!

The next day we had to part with Alby. His family had planned a trip to Kenia, so he has flown straight from Bangalore there. It was lovely to have him with us for two and a half weeks!

And no we are at the Valley School. It is tranquil again. About 17km outside of the city in a huge forested area. Rupert, a former Brockwood staff is now a teacher here and he has taken us on for the 4 days that we are here. Great!

And the guys say: Hello! We are sunburned in December, and itchy from mosquito bites! Also they hope there is fruit for supper.

Will write more soon!

We are going to India!

Tomorrow a group of 3 students and 2 staff will be leaving Brockwood to go to the South of India for a month. We will be visiting several of Brockwood’s sister schools in Bangalore and Chennai, participate in the daily running of the places we visit, explore the culture in the cities and countryside, learn about self sufficiency and alternative education in India, hang out with monkeys, and hopefully eat really good food and have lots of fun!

Here is a short introduction of the group:

Petter organises the  Care for the Earth Programme at Brockwood and teaches Outdoor Education and Photography. He is originally from the United States and Norway.

Sarai manages the kitchen and cooks at Brockwood she is from the Netherlands and loves baking bread.

Petter & Sarai have both been at Brockwood for almost 3 years now.

Philip is from Germany, 17 years old and interested in any adventure. He particularly likes to hang out with his friends and eat, a lot! This is his second year at Brockwood.

James from England, 18 years old. He loves to sing and plant things, grow things, be outside and play the piano. And yoga too!  James is in his third year at Brockwood.

Alby from England, 16 years old and very interested in the natural world, hands on activities, yoga, photography and playing the guitar. This is Alby’s third year at Brockwood.

The pictures for our visa applications, charming no?


We will try to post regularly on the blog and tell you all about our adventures!