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Friday, May 29, 2009

Mother nature's power

This morning a severe storm blew through the Ashram. The photo shows what happened to our parking shed which is about 50 m away from the scene of the photo. With the storm came rain meaning that today may be the first day with a temperature below 40 since 23rd of April.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

12th Class Results

Today we received the results from our 12th class science students. They did excellently, all but one have passed and one girl has come in the top 14 students in the District. It was the first "batch" to sit the 12th class science examinations and they have outshone all expectations.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thanks to Greygum Software

A few weeks ago I was looking for educational software for installing in our school computers. We have some good programs and one of my favorites was called Maths Circus from Greygum Software. I was looking on their site and wishing that we could get everything what they offer was out of our budget. The Maths Circus which we had originally was sent over by my Mum. Of course Mum is great and always supporting the school but this time I thought it isn't really appropriate to ask her to send over 1000 dollars worth of games software.

What to do? I thought we might try our luck and write to the company . The response was immediate and wonderful. Greygum sent over our order charging only the cost of the blank CDs and the postage, at the same time apologising that normally they would pay the postage themselves but due to the economic downturn things were too tight to offer that.

To Steve and all the team at Greygum thanks a lot. The programs were already installed last week and our students are joyfully discussing the best way to land a hot air balloon, mow the lawn and creating their own worlds in the Land of Um.

The fleet

As it is now holidays for the first time all of the buses in our fleet are together for some weeks. Once again thanks to all who helped us get them.

The long hot summer

School finished for the 2008-09 session on Saturday and the students now have 6 weeks break. It was anyhow getting to hot to expect them to think. We haven’t had a summer like this one for a few years. The last time that the temperature was less than 40 was a month ago and the last five days have been 45 degrees and above. What a corker! The average temperature in the last month is above 43!

We finished the year for our hostel boys with an ice cream party and a game of night volleyball (there wasn’t much light but it’s cooler than playing in the day!)

The enthusiasm of the public continues towards getting admission. In the last two weeks we have had more than 500 applications. Considering that the real “season” for admissions will be in late June it has been surprising to have so many people come so early.

Having purchased two new buses this year we are able to add some more villages on our routes. So far we have added two isolated villages called Surayata and Talka. It takes some planning to take on a village and depends on the enthusiasm of the people, the distances involved and the roads. A big issue is whether the buses will be able to go to the village during the 3 months of the monsoon rains as some roads are not sealed or cut by watercourses in heavy rains.

At present we have a list of 19 villages that have requested that they be included in the Ashram school all within a radius of 20km from the Ashram. For each village that we consider we go first and talk to the villagers, check the roads, get an idea of how many students are interested and explain to the villagers our expectations regarding the studies of the students. It’s a beautiful process involving a lot of sitting, talking, drinking chai and taking in the unique scene that is life in the small Indian village.