Various Explorations – Summer at Aarohi

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Trekking to nearby temple on the mountain was initially boring (climbing steps) but then it was challenging to climb rocks and even jumping 9 feet down 🙂

Explored how a sleeve is stitched … tailoring became fun with measurements and adding those extra inches for stitching from 3/8th to ¼ inches.


Made musical instruments with carrots and cucumber … used many tools to carve and had fun in failing and blowing with hose pipe.


It was about painting on a canvas. We just put up a canvas with different types of color and asked to just paint, not only paint but play with paints. before one gets into techniques of painting, one needs to play to understand paints and various paints….age no bar.


Glass painting started with selecting a surface to paint and moved on exploring many designs and even perfection in painting.


Its a huge rock … will we be able to climb? It began with this expression and ended up with “we want more”.


It was about ‘coconut’ – one could make food with it or make craft with the leaves or just simply climb coconut tree or just feel it. Some choose to make sword with it watching a youvideo. Next day one of the child taught many more….made many more. Next it was teaching boomerang or shooting a movie with toys or magic and making how a bulb is made….Learning was doubled and spread exponentially….


Many explored raft in the rain water pool and found their own balance.


We measured distance we travel in campus from the building where we sleep (Umbra) to the building where we cook & eat (Ambrosia) and finally to the place were we park our vehicles. Initially we debated whether to use feet and meters, then we discussed where to place milestones …. finally we measured, we painted, we enjoyed.


Kids spent three days making, wiring and installing LED bulbs (using cold drink cans) outside our community kitchen – it did not work! They tried, failed, sweat, discussed…


It was all about understanding campus through campus training. Safety training was about expectations from each member to take part in safety of self, others and resources. Water training was all about to know how the water come to campus and where it goes – what happens to greywater and blackwater, what makes water grey or black. Solar training was to know what and how the campus gets its energy. Hygiene training was to keep place and self hygienic. First aid training to learn the skill..and finally group games with constraint was to experience the constraint the campus puts on us to learn, the community work for each other and also being focused on self while being in the community…


Barbecue started with an idea – first made a list of vegetables needed, went to market to procure, found recipe of marination, made Paneer….lit the coal…failed in firing, tried and tried till 10 in the night…

At another time we explored various facts about dogs, indian breed and myths about them. Or Collected clay from pond and tried making car model with it. Visit to nearby pond was converted into ‘stone collection event’. They went in sun next day to search and search for various kinds of stones. It was hot summer and this created an opportunity to sleep out on the terrace in the night and watching moon and stars. Telescope setting up and exploring Stellarium (software to watch sly) made us busy through the day. Some explored solar oven.


The challenge was to drop an egg safely from terrace – the weight limit was 100gms and the budget was Rs 100/-. All came in team of 3-4, no age barrier – all worked as participants. Few eggs launched, some cracked, some broke – each team had their own learning of making, teaming, doing, launching, failing and succeeding.


Aalam joined to share about his novel that he has recently written. He shared his journey – writing, not writing, moments of boredom, editing, taking feedback, including illustrations, and finally publishing. He shared “I did leave in between, when the ideas would just not come in my mind and go back when ideas were flowing”. He advise to “SLEEP a lot, this allows you to dream and dream helps you to describe and write in detail”. Had fun with him at Aarohi, O-campus – listening to him about novel writing and collecting “rocks”. He inspired many of us to write.


Collected many seeds from the ground, made them ready for tree nursery, few joined, some more joined….some explored gardening – Fatime akka joined with her local wisdom to guide us in kitchen garden.


It began with a need to make energy efficient water heating system. Rocket oven was one of the choice. First was to experiment with hollow brick blocks….a day’s effort in experimenting with the same. Next day some more research, some more experimenting lead to making it finally with bricks, (Visit to brick factory to buy brick was bonus experience for many).


How does steam engine works…we begin with this question in our mind with Santosh, one of the guest at the campus. We tried making model of a steam engine which will make something move…..we planned a turbine exhaust and..and…and….but could not complete…will try next time.


Brushing was never so much fun


Parents took part with their kids – some special moments


Morning all coming together and listening to music, playing with music, singing and dancing….It was an experience they went through when they came to experience Aarohi.


Reflecting at the end of the day was part of experiencing Aarohi. It began with simple reflection – reflect on the day with few words like ‘like, boring, crazy, new….’ Every day we added more complexity – like comparing our day with a tree and finding what was like fruit or leaf in our day. One of the day was to reflect on the strengths we observed during the day in others … initially it was ‘we do not know’ and soon it was digging gold in others. One of the day it was reflecting our day by drawing on the floor.


Experienced community living in many forms – each one gets the space to learn while live together.


It was an experience they went through when they came to experience Aarohi.


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