Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hello family and friends of the HPA program in India!

The students are leaving Bangalore in an hour and making their way to Frankfurt. Currently, all flights are on time and students should be back in Kona at 7:19pm tomorrow.

Lufthansa - Flight LH 0755
Depart: Bangalore International Airport 3:45 AM
Arrive: Frankfurt Int'l Airport 9:00 AM

Lufthansa - Flight LH 0456
Depart: Frankfurt Int'l Airport 10:10 AM
Arrive: Los Angeles Int'l Airport 1:45 PM

Friday 27 March 2015
United Airlines Inc - Flight UA 1718
Depart: Los Angeles Int'l Airport 4:20 PM
Arrive: Kona Keahole Airport 7:19 PM

Thank you for your support of this program. 
Please call WLS with any questions - 303-679-3412. 

Maria Selde

Program Coordinator

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Today we finished working on the sand pit. First we had to make a mud plaster and cover the sides of the walls. Afterwards we got to ride a cart pulled by bulls and dig the sand for the pit out of dry creek beds. After dumping and smoothing out the sand we went to the morning assembly where the children of Timbaktu showed us their dancing. The hand and feet motions were very intricate and eye catching. We helped with cooking lunch. We cut the tomatoes, trim the drumsticks, and chop onions, eggplant, and chilies. We helped the aunty cook the vegetables into a stew over her fire oven. It was a lot of fun seeing how they prepare their food at Timbaktu. We ended the day by learning simple dances steps taught by the students. Dancing and making music with them brought joy to everyone’s faces.

~Ariella and ‘Alohi

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24, 2015
            Again the day started at an early 7:00 am. The birds’ songs acted as a natural alarm clock along with Ms. Clark’s reminder as she made her morning rounds. Today’s Agenda: Sand pit, Kitchen garden, Kitchen painting, and teaching the students. We started with the sand pit. The first step was to dig out the pit and prepare it for a mud floor that will prevent the bugs and pest from making their way up from the dirt into the children’s new play area. Sweat was dripping from all of our brows and we could feel the heat encroach even as early as 8 o’clock. Yet, we worked through the heat and finished the mud-laying before 11:00. The mud is now hardening so that tomorrow we may fill it with sand and the students will be able to use it.  It is wonderful to do projects that will benefit students for a long time.  As the sand pit was being worked on, Tyler and Ms. Clark were finishing the kitchen painting.  A growth chart was painted on the wall and a health check-list was painted on the opposite wall.  This will be a daily reminder to the students to take a shower, brush their teeth, wash their hands, comb their hair, and clean their dishes.  Since everyone worked so hard during the morning and we got everything finished we were able to take a break during the heat of the day.  Some of us showered, others took naps.  The rest was greatly appreciated by all.  Then we started the kitchen garden at 3:oo.  We made a raised 4 foot by 4 foot bed.  We mixed dirt, manure, and coconut peat together in equal parts and planted many different vegetables: beans, chilis, amaranth, eggplant, lettuce, okra, and several spinaches. We also planted marigolds around the perimeter.  This is a test bed to see how the students take to it and how it works in the climate here.  If it works well, another WLS trip with a school from California will make more beds and put in a grey water system in June.  After the kitchen garden was completed, we got to go teach the students a song and a game.  We taught them “head, shoulders, knees, and toes.”  It was fun to do.  The students had looks of joy and excitement on their faces and their emotions were reflected in ours as well.  We then took them outside for a rousing game of “duck, duck, goose.”  We had them walk instead of run as we didn’t want them to get to riled up. Their teacher had a blast playing it too.  The children of Timbaktu showed us pure joy and innocence.  What a fabulous way to end an incredible day. It is hard to comprehend that tomorrow is our last day in Timbaktu and we will be leaving soon to go home.  There are plenty of things that we miss such as cold drinks and salads but we will miss here as well.  The people have been so friendly and open to us.  We will leave you with a quote that was read to us today and is very appropriate to how we are feeling about our work here.  “When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece.” – John Ruskin

~ Ms. Dahlquist and Tyler

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday March 23, 2015
We woke up drenched in sweat, ready to start the day. The night was hot but we got right to work. We had a quick breakfast and then began the log painting process. We painted another maze, 10 problem-solving boxes, the alphabet on the wall, 6 fruits in the lunch room, a 10x10 grid of numbers 1-100, and 9 different animals. We painted a fish, snake, cow/yak, rabbit, fox, peacock, elephant, and a local bird called a bee eater. The room was filled with paint fumes so we took a break and went to a few different places that work with Timbaktu. We went to the weaving building where we watched them make different cloths by hand. We went to the processing station where they process grains and make peanut products. We then went to the Timbaktu women’s co-op where the women in the group deposit money to an account and if one needs money she gets the group’s approval, and they give her money to start a business or something like that.  As the business grows she slowly begins to pay back to the co-op. We traveled back to Timbaktu, finished our paintings, cleaned the classroom and went to dinner. After dinner we talked about the plan for the next two days and what people learned from doing service projects. Many said they enjoyed the kids looking in the window with excitement on their faces. We also enjoyed the thanks of the principal of the Timbaktu school. We are looking forward to start digging the sand pit and finishing the paintings in the lunch room.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday March 22, 2015
Today we started our morning by eating a yummy breakfast in the beautiful mountains of Timbaktu. After our breakfast we swung on the swings and went over our daily plans. After going over our plans we headed down the class rooms where we organized and sorted through the classroom. After we cleaned the class we started to paint. We are painting things that can be used for learning such as a math grid, problem-solving games, and painting pictures of the local animals found in Timbaktu. After a long day of sorting and painting we went on an Indian safari where we spotted tons of local birds as well as an antelope and two bucks. At the end of our safari ride we drove to the top of the mountain where we sat in a watch house and watched the sun set over the mountains.


Saturday, March 21, 2015
Today we started our day by taking a long journey to Timbaktu. As we left Bangalore we climbed in elevation and the trees thinned out.  We were entering a desert area. When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were going to be staying in a guest house that overlooks the forest. The house is made of rock and thatched roofs. A common area and kitchen are at the center of the house and the sleeping areas are in circular rooms on the ends. We saw monkeys, a scorpion, and an ox. We were also warmly welcomed by the founders of Timbaktu. Today was a rest day for us, but we are looking forward to starting our community project work tomorrow.

Friday, March 20, 2015

     After a hearty Indian breakfast we headed out for our day in Bangalore.  We soon entered the small oasis in the city of Bangalore called Annadana.  This was a five acre farm that was dedicated to the preservation of seeds.  It may sound strange to have an entire farm dedicated to preserving seeds; after all, they are something that we take for granted.  I didn't realize that hundreds if not thousands of plants were in danger because their seeds were just simply not being harvested.  Instead people were relying of the large companies like Monsanto to supply their seeds meaning that the food that we eat and the plants that we are able to have in the future are in the hands of multinational corporations.  Annadana was dedicated to growing these varieties of foods including over 47 different varieties of tomatoes, as well as many varieties of corn, beans, and peppers to insure that the farmers can access these foods.  They also worked hard to promote innovative agriculture techniques like making their own pheromone traps and biodigester systems to keep bugs off plants but not use the nasty chemicals like roundup.  We were also very fortunate to eat a hearty meal of plants grown on the farm including a salad, pasta, and an indian coconut dessert.
     After lunch we headed back to Makkala Jagrati.  We first stopped at the community center where the younger children had their school.  We were soon greeted by a barrage of tiny hands all wanting to shake our hands and learn our names.  It was so fun to see kids so excited to see us and practice their English.  We spent some time with them in their classroom and then headed off to the classrooms were we met with our groups again to finish our "Story of Change" project.  After we finished and shared our projects we made friendship bracelets and passed them around to our newly made friends.  To finish the day we sang and Oli Mahalo to them and they returned the gesture with a song in Kanada.  After exchanging facebooks and our last goodbyes we headed back to Visthar.
     Before returning to the retreat center we collected some supplies that we will need for Timbaktu.  We will be leaving Bangalore tomorrow for our next adventure at the Timbaktu Collective.  


                                          Alohi Angelique and Sidney planting beans

                               Ariella, Angelique and Alohi holding bunnies from Annadana

                              Ariella with the children at Makkala Jagrati's community center

                          Tyler and Sidney and their group share their "Story of Change" poster

Thursday, March 19, 2015

         Today we were awoken by the sweet chirping and songs of birds outside and small peaks of light that flickered though the windows, casting a soft morning glow throughout mosquito netted beds. We all showered and got ready for our first day in Bangalore. We all loaded up in a van to have a mini tour of the ever expansive city. We drove through the contrasting streets of India until we reached a palace. The palace was originally the monarchs' of Bangalore summer house. We had an incredible tour of a piece of art. The palace was ornately detailed in an exquisite blend of European and Indian styles of art and architecture. We were introduced to the lifestyle of the royalty of India and were offered a small glimpse as we walked through the halls. We then took a short trip to Maddy's office were we saw wildlife and held scorpions and learned about Indian "urban" wildlife. We all had reached the threshold of hunger and went to a local restaurant to enjoy several varieties of curry and paneer and some traditional desserts. The next step of our day was surreal, at least for me. We went to a local school run by a Non-Government Organization (NGO) to work with children who were mostly the same age as ourselves. We learned about India through the eyes of children we could relate to. We learned about Makkala Jagrati and what it had offered these children. We saw that people are all the same on some level. We shared stories of how our lives had been changed, and we laughed and sang, and learned. We all were happy and that was the bond we had all formed. We finished off the day with death by chocolate and ice cream and fell asleep on the bus in the lull of chaos that is Indian Traffic.


Henna Tattoo's

Freshly washed hands in the airport

Tutu Sid Holding an Indian Emperor Scorpion

Working in Groups at Makkala Jagarti

Bangalore Monarch's Summer Palace 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Showing off our money belt fashion.

Shiva temple icons.

Walking along the Banganga Tank.

An ant hill near Bangalore.

Reflecting on our day.

We went to Dharavi slum today.  This is what I expected Mumbai to be like.  Why is that?  Every part of Mumbai can't possibly be like a slum, so why is that what people talk about?  Even still, the slum wasn't what I thought a slum would be like.  I thought a slum was filled with poor, broken, hopeless people sitting around.  In reality it is a very industrious place filled with energetic and working people.  Yes, it was filthy in the streets and had overwhelming smells at times, but it had sewing factories, tanneries, potters, plastic recycling facilities, and even bakeries.  It had temples, mosques, schools, and community centers.  We learned that what makes a slum a slum is that the government owns the land and people live on it illegally.  It has nothing to do with economics.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hello friends and family of HPA: India!!

The students have arrived in India and were greeted at the airport by WLS Coordinator, Krishna!
Once they get settled they will begin updating the blog, but in the meantime please feel free to contact the office with any questions or concerns (303-679-3412).  Thank you!!

Maria Selde
Program Coordinator
World Leadership School