Welcome to Friends of Camphill India
Camphill India
Holiday in Coorg – Oct. 2006

Everything started with packing and the question: will all the friends, co-workers, the family, the kitchen people, an old lady friend and all our luggage fit into the bus? Finally we managed even the wheelchair and so we started, happy and excited to have a holiday.

As the kilometres passed, the landscape changed to rice fields and forests, and though a bit tired after the 6 hours long bus ride, a lovely lunch awaited us and cheered us up.

Our group of 45 adults and children was spread out over three homes for sleeping: the college auditorium (all the water for bathing and toilets had to be pumped into buckets from a well outside), the empty house of Anantha's brother and sister-in-law, which was specially painted in a bluish shade for our visit, and the guest house of a Coorg family in whose old mansion Mahatma Gandhi had once upon a time spent a night.

All the cooking and eating was done in the "blue house". Anantha's sister-in-law did everything to make us comfortable and the cooks, whom Anantha had brought from Shimoga especially for this occasion, prepared excellent food for us, which we ate from banana leaves.

There were too many impressions and we can't describe all of them, but the biggest adventure was probably the refreshing bath that all of us took in the Cauvery River. Not only did all the friends enjoy being in the water, we also watched elephants at Dubare Camp getting a bath. Water seemed to be the most present element during our holiday. We visited the famous Abbey Falls and also got soaked in a heavy rain.

Playing games at a college ground and visiting the Golden Temple in a Buddhist settlement close by, were some more of the highlights.

Together with Swasta, a school for special children in Coorg, we joined in a Cultural Programme and performed three plays. That's when we found out that our bus driver had multiple skills: he took part in our Ganesha play! He substituted for one of our co-workers, who unfortunately slipped in the river and broke her wrist. This was the only incident that marred our holiday slightly.

The last day was spent in the beautiful coffee estate of Deepak's aunt and uncle. It was Deepak's birthday and we were treated royally, enjoyed relaxing in the garden and quite a few of us had a dip in the pool.

All in all it was wonderful to see so many smiling faces and our friends had no problems overcoming the occasional problems. We returned back to the community tired but very, very happy.

(written by Annika and Johanna, two of our volunteers)

This was not the only Holiday away from home. Whether it was by bus or by train, the community enjoyed a number of outings: a week was spent in a similar community near Pune and during another year the holiday took all to Goa where the sea was the biggest attraction and in 2012 it was again a trip to the sea, this time to Kannur in Kerala. So far these outings have been conducted every two years, but if we ask our friends, they would much prefer to have an annual holiday!

A regular event is the yearly Family Day, usually in October or November, when the families of our residents are invited to spend a day in the community. The parents, siblings, maybe even aunts and uncles or grandparents, are welcomed in the garden with tea and snacks; there will be a meeting when important matters can be discussed; lunch is provided by one of the families and is always a special treat and there will be entertainment: singing and music, maybe a folkdance and a play performed by the members of the community. It is always a happy occasion to be together in this way and to share a little of community life.