What happens when we withdraw from our phone, and all other forms of technology? When the students were told about this, their initial reaction was one of disbelief, and utter shock. “ Its about disconnection” they were told, and after much hesitation and apprehension, there was a positive response. This was the first learning.
When we go into the wilderness, simply the uniqueness of another landscape creates excitement. We wanted the students to experience the rawness of nature, both climatic and topographical.
Learning to survive: traversing rocky paths, somewhat unknown destinations, and the depths of forests, through slippery paths and unknown dangers, brings out the survivor in most.
Cooking for many poses a challenge… how many kilos of rice for 35 people? What should a menu be in a given amount of money? The students were given the task, of sourcing, preparing, and actually cooking for almost 40 people.
Learning about livelihoods in rural hill terrains. Visiting NGO,s and interaction with the locals about sustenance, and livelihood. This helped them to understand prevalent lifestyles in the hill region. To value what many take for granted.
Education: an essential need. Interaction with school kids, and looking at life from their “ point of view”. Also engaging with them at their level. We visited two of the local schools, both government aided. One group went to the primary school, and another to the secondary.
Being alone. How do you reflect when you are all alone? Sitting by a river, or at the edge of a forest. This activity involved, each student to spend time by him or herself, in a completely natural environment.
At the end of this week, there was introspection, respect for many things we take for granted, in an urban environment. Better understanding amongst peers, interesting conversations with teachers, but most of all the ability to look into life in a totally different perspective.