From crisp mornings under the mango grove, to toiling in the afternoon heat, to engaging community meet practices - the past two weeks at DLRC's new sustainable campus have been a refreshing and wholesome experience.
When this initiative was brought up, I was apprehensive about how we were to occupy ourselves while learning and helping on the farm. However, as the work progressed at the Farm, I learnt and discovered some things that go beyond the textbook such as values, friendships, and the importance of pure hard work.
Our week started with filling and leveling the high school classroom - a big plot allotted for the students to work on. We were told to pack up the area with as many rocks and loose soil that we could dig. Faced with a mammoth task ahead, we students couldn't seem to figure how to finish the task efficiently. Then, a bright idea struck all of us - let's form a chain! Students from middle and high school organized themselves into a line, which stretched from the rock pile to the unfinished classroom. "Gamelas" or flat pots of rocks and soil were passed down and packed into the plot. This task taught us a very important value - teamwork, which is an integral part of the regular school environment.
Working together under the 40 degree Celsius conditions developed into something special, which brought the DLRC community closer together. Friendships that started out from fleeting interactions in the classroom evolved into endless conversations of similar hobbies or interests. Being a comparatively new student at DLRC having arrived during exams, I didn't have much time to interact with all the students. Now, I have made even more friends with students of different age groups, as we bond over art, music, and other hobbies.
These two weeks have passed without us even realizing how time flew. As we busied ourselves with work around the Farm and community meet practices, we accomplished more than we ever expected! Along with leveling the high school classroom, we: leveled the pipe trench to enable students to walk across, fenced the boundaries of the premise, made circles around trees using tiles for watering and mulch, created a cemented ramp from the garden to the classrooms, made a fruit and vegetable patch with compost, constructed a "chullah" or mud stove from scratch, sieved piles of sand, and assisted in general construction of the site. Alongside these tasks, we made sherbet and cut fruit or break time, fetched water from the tank, took art classes in the newly-built classrooms, did basket and mat weaving, and marble paper printing. Practices for the DLRC Community Meet showcased the various talents of students in music, dance, and much more. We achieved this all while having our lessons under the mango grove or gazebo in the afternoon.
These past two weeks have truly been a sensorial treat with the birds chirping, leaves rustling, masons scraping cement, electric saw droning, and cool morning breeze. Through all the laughter and camaraderie, the days flipped by. As we dirtied our hands and feet, received several blisters and cuts, we grew in-sync with nature as an individual and community. We shared priceless moments, conversation, thoughts, and tasty food. And most importantly, this experience has brought the community closer with our heads, hearts, and hands.
Siya is a Junior HighSchooler at DLRC. She loves Badminton,Music and talking with people.