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Sunday, May 17, 2009

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.


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