We are a bunch of friends from different countries who've known each other for a decade now. Paragliding is what attracted us and brought us together, but the sheer beauty of the surroundings and the simplicity of the lives of the local mountain people here, is what made us stay. Nestled on the Dhauladhar Range in the Kangra Valley, our place is situated at 2250mts ASL with incredible views of the Himalayas. We are registered as a not-for-profit organization and intend to do several small projects with the locals here.
This season, we are working with an existing government school in a village called Jhatingdi in Himachal Pradesh. Although they do learn English at school, most kids don't land up speaking with confidence due to several factors. We have collaborated with the school to provide extra classes for spoken English. Gradually do various creative workshops. We start with kids from class 6 onward.
Since it is a government school, it is free for all students. They even provide a mid-day meal for all staff and kids under a special scheme.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
The task is to teach kids from class 6 onwards. Trained English teachers with some experience in dealing with kids is our first preference. However, we're also open to hosting people who have practical experience with kids - arts, music, science, math, etc.
The school is a 40 minute walk from the house, through a deodar and rhododendron forest. Due to the nature of the task, we prefer volunteers who enjoy walking in nature, and are willing to stay for longer periods. This way, the kids can develop some familiarity and comfort and hence progress.
It is difficult to define the kind of learning one takes back from here. We are a motley crew, from different parts of the world... and this intermingling with the local people and landscape, is creating an interesting new paradigm, from which, we are all learning and benefiting. In fact, we're looking forward to your feedback on this! :)
Our place is a beautiful private house, situated on top of a mountain. Made with a lot of love by a bunch of us, it is made for community style living, comfortable enough to accommodate 10 people. We wake up to some incredible scenery of the Himalayas every day. It is situated right on top of a mountain ridge at 2250mts, with spectacular 360 degree views. During the paragliding season (Mar/Apr and Oct/Nov), we have many friends from many countries visiting us. Other times, its more peaceful. The house is powered with solar-panels and is off the grid. The winter can be harsh (we have snow for a couple of weeks every year), and its nice to load up on firewood and coffee at this time.
The house is a strange shaped structure, that is completely unplanned and still evolving. It's what Robin calls anarchitecture. We have a large common space, a breakfast/music room, the kitchen, the workshop, the bath/toilet complex, a couple of private rooms and a small terrace. The main common space in the house has 2 beds downstairs and a loft where 6-8 people can sleep comfortably. This is the area where the volunteers will live.
We have an amazing kitchen at our place, loaded with a gas burner, a tandoor and an oven. We cook simple Indian food on a daily basis. We do love experimenting from time to time and are very flexible with food.
There are many interesting things to do in this region. It depends on the season you are visiting.
- Sight-seeing: Some famous places close by (2-4 hours) are Bir, Dharamshala and Manali. There are many places to see and things to do around here.
- Paragliding (seasonal) : What better place to fly over mountains... it's the Himalayas! A must do!
- Trekking: There are many paths leading to different villages. The entire area is so beautiful and the villagers, simple and welcoming.
- Fishing: The valley behind us has a river full of trout fish. You can trek down the mountain and come back up with fish for dinner.
- Music: We have a bunch of live music instruments, complete with amplifiers and all. However, our band sucks! So, musicians are always welcome.
- Carpentry: We have a full-fledged workshop with wide variety of hand and automated tools.
- Slacklining: We set this one up recently.
- Besides this, we have WIFI, a ping-pong table, a mini library and some board games.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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