Aarohi, is a kitchen, not a restaurant. A kitchen where you get the raw material and cook your learning for yourself. It’s not a restaurant where you are served to learn. No pre-decided activities, no forecast of results, no teachers, no teaching. It all about dreams and desires one have for self. It’s all about experiencing the journey of dreaming to doing.
The week began with dreams and a desire to “make a raft, make mud mural, make juice, make music, make a poster, make clay pot, fish farming, cook food, make salad, paint a wall, grow food, write a story, night trek and the list is long. The list can grow longer if one just sits and dream. But dreaming or wishing alone is not enough. Each dream needs an action.
Action on the dream of making raft begin with designing and then collecting material. A metal surface from junk looked a good deal but it needed treatment and understanding of rust. Rex oxide came to our rescue but it needed a mkt trip …the story had many more twist as it moved ahead. And then “the end” was breaking of raft within few minutes of testing in the pond!
The story of making mud mural was not different. After the initial excitement of playing and making with mud, it was the test of patience to give a form to our creation. The concept of composition came alive, the ideas needed to be translated into action.
The story of making book rack was similar. The work with carpentry sounded cool, but not the actual working. After doing, giving up and picking up again had its own journey.
The word ” fish farming” was exciting but the hidden challenge of really dirtying our hands to clean the muck from the pond, collecting fishes from the nearby pond was not as much exciting in the beginning. It needed to work on our beliefs of muck, dirt, and fear of poor insects. It sounds very fancy ” fish farming” when one hears or see a video or watch a show of a naturalist playing around with frogs and crocodile. But unfortunately, none of these experiences alone gives us the story behind the scenes unless one makes the hands really dirty by putting them in reality in the pond.
Taking a session was exciting but the reality was different. Taking session in front of 30 people is not an easy commitment it requires a lot more preparation. Some thought of a topic, but didn’t prepare thinking anything was ok, some prepared but not ready with required resources. Facing disappointment was part of learning. 15 minutes session by various ages on various topics like Flowers, Locomotive, Skywatch, about Singapore, and Bullying brought a mix bag variety to learn and explore.
Trip to pond sounded fun but not an easy task. Connection with nature does not happens sitting outside but by being inside the natural pond. Some found it scary, for some it was yucky, some wanted to use perfume, while some hoped for changing rooms around. Seeing the birth of baby sheep was amazing for some while swimming in the pond was a new experience for some. Some enjoyed and challenged self by climbing the tree while some enjoyed doing the open fire barbeque.
Wish to go for a night trek needed first initiative and then planning. Planning and then arranging. Arranging and then taking the group. Going in the dark in the midst of insects, reptiles, and stars…all was an experience. And finally canceling due to elephant movement and changing to night walk within campus was learning of a lifetime.
Living together sounds exciting but brings a lot more challenges as well as loads of fun – care for food for everyone, wait for the turn for bath, sleeping under the sky, choosing done to make friends while rejecting some with disgusting feelings. Various people bring various dynamics and that makes this kitchen of Aarohi alive and exciting to experience.
Fitness sounds exciting but action needs efforts. As we grow, we change. As we change, our needs changes. Hormonal changesneed to be taken charge. Time to take charge of fitness. Each day one-hour fitness was challenging for many.
The word WE is cool, but the reality is not so cool. Making tree circle in active WE was not only about making mud circles around the trees but to listen to each other, wait for others to finish, one team to prepare mud and other to carry till the trees and rest to make circles around them. It was cathartic with the touch of mud for some while yucky for some.
We’re like a kitchen: Raw material and tools (resources) of all kinds are available. Children were challenged to cook for themselves, to create own learning, to explore, experiment for own reasons, to satisfy own hunger.
Imagine Aarohi, a learning community where there are no age boundaries to learn, there are no teachers to teach, all we have is a space and environment which leads to self-discovery to lead own life.