A week in Udaipur

Posted by / March 26, 2011 / Categories: India 2011 Peace Exchange / 0 Comments
After a week in Delhi getting re-oriented to life in India (I lived here for a year in 2001/02), organizing initial plans, printing postcards, and meeting folks from Pratham; our key partner in accessing Indian schools, we flew to Udaipur on a 6am flight Saturday March 5th.   It was, Heather Wakefield, my partner for this trip: the nor-cal country girl photographer extraordinaire, Lynn Murphy, my sweet heart who had arrived into Delhi approx 3am from Nairobi Kenya, and me, Ross, aka Joe Peace….carrying luggage for four, on our way out to do workshops in Rajasthan; our first destination on this 10 week art for peace tour of India. Arriving in Udaipur was easy and smooth.  We settled into a nice guesthouse on the lake and found our footing in this new location.  Our plans for Rajasthan included stops in Udaipur and Jodhpur, two prominent cities in the desert west of Delhi, where we would begin our partnership with Pratham (www.pratham.org) one of the largest education organizations in the world.  Pratham staff, seemingly dispersed across the country, would kindly make introductions and escort us to schools for our Peace Exchange workshops. On Monday morning we met with the Udaipur regional coordinator Shailendra to discuss plans.  Everything was happening seamlessly and effortlessly.  We made arrangement to visit 2 schools per day on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I hadn’t led two workshops in two schools before, but when you’re in India and there are children by the hundred millions, you stretch a little in order to touch as many hearts as you can.  I was feeling very excited to be getting workshops started on the good foot. Over the weekend, thanks to Lynn’s previous connection, we had the privilege of meeting Manish Jain and the Shikshantar alternative education community he had started.   There were so many inspiring young people doing wonderful things to promote community living, alternative education, and sustainable living.  One guy, whose name I forget, was developing technology to create and then store energy generated from bicycles.  He was developing mechanisms to charge batteries and run water pumps in homes.   Another group, I dub the “thinking outside the box” crew, was working on collegiate level studies in an effort to create and perform actions that promoted community improvement, lifestyle simplification through real world experiments and actions in their local environment.   I also met two young film makers who gleefully stepped up to join CPP on our tour of schools.   One of the resident team leaders, an artist and arts teacher, offered to help set up our first session with a group of local kids he taught art too as a starter Peace Exchange workshop for us.   And we were off. here is a link to the facebook album of images from that first workshop: https://www.facebook.com/album.php?fbid=10150139385723485&id=641273484&aid=301484

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *