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Country Side Hike In Joy
The driver said the road was impassable. He said he could not drive any further. So, on the second day of our two-a-day school visits, we found ourselves at a place where we were going to have to walk to get to our next workshop. And so, with a bit of reluctance, considering we didn’t exactly know how far we had to go, Shailendra said about a mile, and we were hoping to get home before dark, we got out of the car, assembled our gear; my two bags, Heather’s camera gear, Rama and her things, and started trudging up the hot and dry dirt road towards…..only god knows where.
It seemed that that road ended fairly quickly over that first hill. We were on a small crest, with fields and farms before us. The school was in sight, on a hill top in the distance and so on we walked beneath that hot Rajastani sun. With Ravi and Shailendra leading, each holding a strap of the heavy red art supply bag, we followed along on a dirt path into the farm lands before us. We walked near homes and across plow sites, asked directions from the locals, and smiled at the curious stares. Strolling along narrow pathways between wheat fields and out into the open where orange colored flowers sparsely covered spindly trees across hillsides into the distance. Mountain ranges expanding to all sides, you could barely differentiate property lines as small homes and farms seemed to blend into each other for as far as the eye could see.
We arrived at a shady spot atop a hill where we stopped to rest. Heather pulled out the Indian take-out from last night and we shared a bit of food to give us some strength and nourishment for the rest of our hike and up-coming Peace Exchange session.
After about 40 mintues of walking, we arrived at the school. A warm welcome and without much time to think, we were into our next workshop. This time about 125 students, ages 10 – 16 gathered on the shady platform in front of three classrooms facing East. A warm welcome from smiling eyes and faces of intrigue, this was a happy group, a forward and confident, playful group. A deep group, with powerful and focused meditation. I felt a deep feeling of peace with this group and very much enjoyed their company for the 2hrs we were together. They created beautiful postcards.
They shared loving messages and they were polite and super easy to work with. This group was one of my favorites of the 5 schools we worked with in Udaipur. Watching these students explore themselves with art supplies they had probably never handled was fun. Seeing what they created as an expression of peace, even more moving. When we finished, they were polite and calm, warm and friendly and I very much enjoyed giving these students their cards from kids in the US as part of this day’s Peace Exchange.