Food is such a feature of Shanti Bhavan that I thought I’d throw in some foodie photos.

Chillis drying_sml

Chillies and coriander seeds from the farm dry outside the open air dining hall.

peppers at SB_sml

The food is spicy but in India the green chillies are the ones to fear! Easily mistaken for green beans and they are potent.

Coriander from the farm_sml

Coriander seeds

Coconut picker_sml

Coconuts used in the beautiful sauces are harvested right outside our house.

SB 16pic batter_sml

Pancakes for 300 people please.

SB16 dhosa cook_sml

At three each, that’s 900 pancakes. 


Fond Farewells

After a final busy week, we bid our farewells to Shanti Bhavan. Saying goodbye to the kids is always hard. Here is my lovely 8th grade class. It’s not just the kids that we will miss. I have no photo – but a vivid mental picture – of our fellow volunteers running all the way down the driveway to the gate, madly waving at our retreating car. They are all exceptional people and one of them has already said she will come and visit us in Oz in November.

SB 2016 8th grade_sml

The 8th Graders. When we first came they were 6 years old!

Farewells: A time of thank yous

In the final assembly, two very small, very sweet children presented each of us with a thank you card on behalf of the school.  We’d like to pass those thanks on to others back home. So a big thank you to our stalwart supporters, Robert and Bonnie Jenkin from South Australia for your wonderful annual donation, and our other friends and family who contributed money, stationery, books and moral support. Even our ‘Gemini’ friendship group contributes when you forego your birthday presents so we can buy extra things for the school!

SB 2016 B thanks card_sml

Barney’s collage card: We’d also like to thank Tom Clarkson and Alistair Campbell for your timely contributions to computing from afar.

As well as the books and equipment we took with us, this year’s funds will provide much-needed improvements to the internet connections and to a fly-zapping machine in the dining hall. Another helpful addition is a poster on the wall in the assembly hall featuring the virtue of the week and 52 laminated ‘virtues’ to be displayed in turn. We’ve also provided suitcases and backpacks for the 16 graduating students to take to college. We presented these at the final assembly and used the suitcase as a metaphor, urging the students, as they venture into the outside world, to pack up and take with them all of the virtues they have practised over the years, along with the love and support of their Shanti Bhavan family.

By reading this you are part of that extended family too. So this card is for all of you!

Sb K thanks card_sml

This curled paper collage must have taken ages to make. Please share the thanks everyone!

That’s all the Shanti Bhavan news for another year. I will post one more blog about our brief rest and recuperation visit to Hampi, a UNESCO world heritage site/hippy retreat. We shared this time with our great friends Paul and Sue Reuvers, who were terrific volunteers (Paul’s third time and Sue’s second) and very amicable house mates. Thanks also, Paul, for the photos used in many of the blogs.

Finally, thanks to Shanti Bhavan for allowing us the privilege of coming back year after year and spending time with these amazing kids!