To celebrate the end of home schooling for the youngest students at the Indian Village and the successful selection of all children into reputed Dehradun schools, we took the children to an activity centre called Carbery Acres. It was beautifully situated amidst verdant trees and nature. First the children tackled the spider web, where they climbed up ropes, went over the top and down the other side. Everyone managed it and gained confidence for the Burma Bridge, a single rope bridge requiring balance and courage.
After this, it was time for the climbing wall. Not all the children wanted to try, so went to play in the splash pool. Those who tackled the wall had never experienced anything like it before and all made valiant efforts, some reaching the overhang. After the effort of climbing it was relaxing to join the others in the splash pool. Very few of the children knew how to swim so it was good to help them get the idea of floating and help them to experience the sensation of swimming. We were definitely ready for our packed lunches of aloo puri after all the exertion of the morning.
Nicely full up from lunch, we were taken on a tractor ride down to the Yamuna river, the second largest tributary of the Ganges, where we had the opportunity to talk to some Gujjar people from a nomadic cow herding tribe. It was a thrilling, bone-shaking ride for the children in the trailer. When we returned we were taken to see the animals that reside at the sight. The children got to see and hold some of the baby goats, while their mothers went to graze. We also saw the cows and the many guinea pigs and rabbits that are housed in pens. This was definitely a highlight for some of the children. After a noisy journey down full of singing our journey home was a lot quieter after the excellent but exhausting day.
Sue Essex, volunteer pastoral officer