Soap-Makers Extraordinary

Every Thursday, the 11th graders at Pathashaala have ‘cow time’, which has surprisingly little to do with these beauties.

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Cattle with humps don’t need much water, and were once common in throughout south India. Govinder the Bull and his lady friend live at Pathashaala as part of a conservation project.

Instead, ‘cow’ stands for Community Oriented Work. It’s a day devoted to activities such as taking stock of maintenance issues in the dorms, painting the paving stones outside the dining hall white to prevent burnt feet, and other projects that benefit the community. Today they were making their second batch of soap for the school’s use; at some point they will also be called upon to assist in soap-making workshops for women in nearby villages. I’ve always been interested in learning to make household staples like that myself, so I tagged along and took notes…

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Feeding the Masses

(3kg Chocolate, 5kg Cheese… It must be European Food Day!)

At some point last month, Camille (my fellow volunteer, who has now left me for Nepal) and I decided that it would be fun to cook some food from our home countries for the community here at Pathashaala. ‘Cultural awareness’ was certainly the motive we named, but it might have been that we were simply hungry for a meal or two that didn’t involve rice. We confess to nothing. But wait —

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