Experiencing Aarohi – Exploring Strengths – Summer


Experiencing Aarohi is about living and learning together. It begins with ‘what you want to do and how you want to do”. The week began with DREAMING, making a cat house or making a science toy all became part of dreaming. Dreams do come true. Knowing each other with a small introduction was the beginning. Dreams brought all of us together, soon all ages found their own space.

Strength was the theme of the week – while we reflected on our day on our strengths we used, we saw strengths all around at campus in various forms. Some examples

PERSISTENCE – One child wanted to cook for all dessert. He did not know how to make it. He researched and convinced us to make with him. He worked tirelessly to make it till the end. The activity was simple but his persistence left us inspired. Rocket Launcher, where children worked persistently in the hot sun to make the water rocket launcher workable and see it flying high.

CREATIVITY – Just a lump of clay from nearby Potter was enough to give shape. No techniques, no instructions… it was just a simple play with clay to create and share endless stories behind the making of that creation.

OPEN MINDED – Contributing in campus maintenance, washing own utensils, cleaning the kitchen after meals and many more task which are normally not part of learning experiences – they are separated. Open-mindedness was to accept them as part of living and learning.

ACCEPTANCE – Different age groups, different culture, different religion, the different accent of speaking, various languages, different family traditions, different tastes, and choices…diverse enough to understand acceptance.

ADAPTABLE – Pushing limits – Darkness of night, frogs on our pathways, sleeping under the sky, no direct tap water, no fans, no fridge…giving up many of those comforts and living life with joy.

CHALLENGES AND THOUGHTFUL – The science challenge ‘Save an Eggstronaut and land on the moon safely”. Limited resources, limited budget, limited size and time to make a landing vehicle for a raw egg to land from 20 feet height. The challenge needed an application of many scientific phenomena one has read and understood – impact, force, cushioning, speed, air, were some of them.

CO-CREATION – Venita joined with her daughter and created magic with her story telling session. Stories with Venita was super hit with all ages. Sudha and Dwiji with their daughter joined and shared their joy of food. Session on food audit was about where does the food comes from or what goes into growing the food. Eating panipuri and noodles was not never so enriching.

MEDITATIVE AND ENERGETIC – Trip to the nearby pond. Tree climbing and emerging into the water was meditative for some and energetic for some.

TEAMWORK – the Various task in groups brought an opportunity to be together while working on own dreams brought an opportunity to connect with different people with the similar passion. Make your own breakfast, make an advertisement to sell your team’s services based on strengths, work on caring for campus in three different teams, clean kitchen after meals in teams, contribute in making of mud flooring in various teams, playing community sports, fitness, music jam etc were some of the experiences for each one to discover self as a team member.

STRUCTURE AND FLEXIBILITY -The mix of planned community time and open self-time brought an opportunity to organize the day in their own way. For many, it was an experience to plan day by self and be independent. Planning brought all of us together to see the day in advance while thought club at the end of the day brought reflection and clarity of the purpose at Aarohi.The various session brought structure while open session brought the space to choose and select. Life at Aarohi revolves around – self, community, and contribution.

  • Sunshine: Fitness time with the community

  • Active me: Time to be outdoor – Play sports or outdoor games, Climb trees, go for walks, gardening or do anything in nature

  • Planning: Plan your day with t he community.

  • Community sports – Play the same game/sports together

  • Music jam: Time for some music, dance, and singing with t he community

  • The team meets: contribute on campus working. Join any team – campus, resource or kitchen team and work together.

  • Active WE – Contribute together

  • Helpmates: Social-Emotional help from the community.

  • Outdoor: Learning exposure from nature and people around u

REFLECTIVE -Time to think of the community – think about living in Aarohi; issues related to our life/world; Reflect on the day. Express our thoughts in many ways.

DEMOCRACY- This is our most aspirational endeavor – to create and keep Aarohi as a democratic space. We are experimenting with many forms of interactions, communications, interventions, and systems – all targeted to make the community truly interdependent – with co-creation, co-learning, and co-existence as key parameters. Feedback help us to give a meaning to this whole endeavor of ‘Open Community Learning’. We are also in the process of learning the meaning of democracy. This is more of a challenge to us since most organizations or groups around us like family, companies, even other communities are typically autocratic. We are relishing this challenge and this journey of understanding democracy. We are experimenting with many forms of interactions, communications, interventions, and systems – all targeted to make the community truly interdependent – with co-creation, co-learning, and co-existence as key parameters. We prize the open environment – open to different doing and learning, open to expressing thoughts, opinions and feelings, open to all kinds of people, open to errors and omissions, to failures, to imperfections, open to … life.