From 17th to 24th January, the Middle School students got to spend a splendid week in Kerala. We went to the ‘spice capital’ Kochi, then got a taste of the backwaters of Alappuzha, trekked around Nelliyampathy and even tried our hand at folk arts in the village of Arangottukara in Thrissur district. All thanks to our teachers and guides from Niravana Nomads.
In Kochi we toured Fort Kochi which included seeing the Chinese Fishing Nets, the vast backwaters which merge with the Arabian Sea, St. Francis Church and Jew Town. While in the Jew Town we went to the Synagogue and walked through Jew Street which is one of the best places for shopping. After seeing the Mattancherry Palace we feasted in the David Hall Pizzeria. Before calling it a day we watched a Kathakali performance featuring a story from the Mahabharata. We even got to spend a day and night on a houseboat. Walking through jungles, climbing mountains, bird-watching and going on a night safari were all packed into our wilderness exploration at Nelliyampathy. Joining with the Vayali Folklore Group we learnt about the traditional ways of making bell-metal, pottery and mats. It was an enriching experience to learn about the forgotten ways of the traditional arts.
Here are a few sharings from our trip….
I gripped my stick firmly as the climb became steeper, with every step my body felt like crashing into the ground but the thought of seeing the sunset at the top of a peak kept me going. We walked through sludge, short hills and weird grasses. Suddenly someone screamed “Two minutes more!” At once I threw my stick and rushed to the front. I saw the clearing and ran ever faster. I reached the top, wind buffeting my face but my eyes were fixated on the setting sun; the entire sky was on fire. The struggle was worth it.
The sky was filled with colors, from neon orange to baby pink to cream to light blue. With the reflection of the sun, the backwater looked mesmerizing amidst the very many coconut trees that filled the background. Flocks of birds flew in various shapes and in great numbers. What an amazing sight!
Nurturing the wild
Learning about birds
Learning about animals
In the middle of the forest
Yippee! We saw many gaurs!
Protecting wild animals
Ahh! Helping us realize the importance of nature
Teaching the excellence of nature
Helping us conserve nature
Yielding to the better of nature
A jeep ride made my stomach churn,
A night safari inverted my guts,
A jungle walk paralyzed my legs,
A bonfire heated my bones,
Ghost stories made my bones jitter
A sunset trek was extremely exhausting,
But after the sight I thought it was worth it.
A peaceful houseboat
Rocking slowly in the waves
As we went on the bumps,
We all slumped,
As we sped across the road,
We all looked bored,
The more bumps,
The more jumps,
The more fun.
This was the best JEEP RIDE ever!!!
Vinod Anna, the founder of the organization,
Arangottukara is the place,
Yummy food they served in the Sadhya,
Arts and culture they are trying to preserve,
Initiative to preserve the Kerala arts and cultures.
Splitting the sky with color,
Bright and radiant,
Feast for the eyes,
Sunsets at Alappuzha