Friday, 25 November 2016

Of churches and Trees !

-Deyone ( Learning facilitator)

A Friday Nature Walk at Gubbachi Learning Community :)

There was some confusion whether we should go to the area behind the school or towards the village. After voting it was decided we'd go to the village. We started at 11.30 am. Deepanjali and I accompanied the children. 22 of us walked along the side of the road towards St. Anthony's church - just 200 meters away from the school. I felt like exploring the church premises thinking that children may not be familiar with the idea of a church and there also are some trees to climb onto.

So we entered the small compound and peeped into the church. There was a statue of crucified Christ who was bleeding all over. Anita was quite sure that her uncle had donated blood to this bleeding man some months ago. :D Vikas thought it was a school, seeing all the benches, and asked where the children are and when does the class happen? Some of the children said that it is Jesu Appa's place and it is equivalent to a temple. But the benches arranged in rows were still a mystery to Vikas.

We explored the area around the church and saw a small garden. We decided to create a small garden like this in front of our center. (Hope the idea will grow into some action.) :) There was a spruce tree in front of the church. We collected the secretion from its stem and burned it. It had an amazing fragrance - (thanks to the candles and match box at the church). Breaking the 'badam' seeds and eating them was fun too. Malli was concentrating on breaking and eating them with no distraction at all!

By this time many of them started climbing the other trees around. There were badam trees, jackfruit trees and teak wood trees. None of them had branches lower than 12 feet high. Vikas tried to teach me how to climb these trees using the strength of my upper body, which I terribly failed at. I even tried hugging the tree and just held to it; then, I would slowly slip down to touch the ground. They advised me to put sand on my feet so that I would have more grip to hold the tree. Everything went in vain. Anyhow, I've decided that I would learn how to climb this type of tree soon. :)

It was 12.20 pm and time for lunch, so we walked back to the school and some of the children sketched out the church building, trees and flowers before going for lunch. In one of the sketches you can see crucified Jesu Appa happily floating in the air. :)

Climbing is fun.
Happiness matters. :)
Have a happy weekend.

Monday, 14 November 2016

It's Children's day !

-Deyone( Learning Facilitator)

Today at Gubbachi Learning Community, most of the students went to attend Kathavana - a literary festival organised by Azim Premji University. 6 students couldn't go since they were too young to attend the event; so I stayed back with them at the learning center. We decided to go for a nature walk. We left the centre at 9.40 am. There is a tamarind tree behind our school; we decided to go there and 5 of us

climbed it. I also got to climb a tree after a long time :) Two were afraid to climb the tamarind tree since it was too tall for them. :( So we decided we'll look for smaller trees around so that everyone could climb.

We walked a kilometer and ended up at Kumar's house, which is inside a farm where his parents work. Kumar jumped over the gate, fetched the keys and let all of us in. His mother and younger sister gave us water to drink. There were lot of small trees and everyone climbed the trees as much as they wanted.

Kumar brought us figs to eat ​and I had it fresh for the first time in my life ... ... and it was amazing! While we were at the farm we heard the train passing by, Malli wanted to chase the train. So we left the farm in search of a railway track. We found the track walking half a kilometer and walked along the track for another 2 kms till we reached the railway gate.

Premakka who works at the railway gate was super sweet and she gave gooseberries to us. She declared all the girls will receive 3 fruits and the boys will receive only 2. :) But the children wanted more once they finished eating the gooseberries. She allowed them to climb the gooseberry tree and pluck as much as they wanted.

All this time Munni, Kumar's dog was also with us. Sanirul realised that we had reached very close to his home and wanted all of us to see his dog. We said bye to Premakka and headed to Sanirul's home. He whistled and the dog was there; Eramma wanted to know what the dog's name is but Sanirul had not yet given a name to his dog. Ladli suggested since we already have a Munni here, let's name him Munna. :) Then we walked 2 kms back to school and reached there at 12.30 pm just in time for lunch.

Happiness matters. :)

... and Malli wanted to play kho-kho after all this; which none of us cared for.

Happy Children's Day to all!