It was a great opportunity to plant more trees and plants, I always wanted to positively add up to nature and such CAS trips are really helpful. Before going for the trip I thought it won’t be so difficult to plant, all we have to do is get the plants and fill in more mud. But, NO it was tiring. Carrying the plants all the way from one place to another made it very difficult. This is when I realised how difficult it is for the workers who did the same thing everyday whereas we were tired just in a span of 3-4 hours. It was challenging and fun, it made me more sensitive about the people who work there, earlier I didn’t really care about it but now it makes much more sense. Especially, the Service part of CAS will definitely make a change in my perspectives towards life. I extended myself to complete the activity as I knew that leaving it half way makes no sense. This activity did not only make me more sensitive about the workers and their pain but also contributing to the nature was a great deal. Nowadays, because of Industrialization and Globalization people have stopped caring about the environment but most of them are money minded. This activity at least helped us contribute a bit to the environment.
I found myself completely out of my comfort zone because the way we were completely drenched in sweat and covered with sand, it made it really very uncomfortable. But, there was a sense of satisfaction towards the end of the trip as we got to do something which we are not used to and also achieve it.
The most difficult part was the heat and when most of the people are tired and you are the only group of few people who are working, less people more work made things hard.
I had always wanted to learn a foreign language, and this was the ideal opportunity for me. Learning Spanish has made me more aware of the cultures of the people in Spain and also has opened up my mind to issues of global concern such as the beautiful cultures of Latin America and Spain getting wiped out. Initially, I thought that it wouldn’t be that difficult to learn the language since the script of Spanish is the same as for English, which is the Roman script but once I started learning it, I realized how different it is. Learning the endless list of verbs and their conjugations was extremely tiring but the most challenging part was yet to come. The culture prevailing in Latin America believes in speaking very fast so when I tried to hear audios; it was tough to understand whatever was being said. However, eventually, I was able to comprehend and speak quite well.
Learning the language made me feel like more of a global citizen, as I didn’t feel the confinement to the same languages I have always been taught. Initially, my tutor kept pushing me to translate only texts, and often I didn’t understand what to do; so along with a friend, I suggested our instructor to plan fun sessions like watching Spanish plays and have quizzes to test our understanding. Having something fun and interesting to do while learning so much developed my interest in the language to another level. Learning a new language required a lot of time and dedication but the practical, intellectual and aspirational benefits it offered felt worth. I believe that by acquiring skills of a language so widely spoken, my perceptions of global situations has widened and has encouraged me not to stay confined to the clutches of my thought process and explore wider horizons.
Place: Vansda, Gujarat
Time: 7:30 am to 8:00 pm
This was our first CAS trip planned by school. We went to Janki Van – a new botanical garden which is being developed by Ministry of Forest (Gujarat) under the guidance of Head of Forest Department in Vansda, which is about 90 Kms from Surat. The garden has periphery of about 4000 meters and contains beautiful and variety of plants, flowers and trees.
We fulfilled our service and activity component by planting saplings of “mehendi”. It was a new experience for me as I learnt the skill of neatly planting delicate seedlings in their designated area. It was simple yet tiring, I out in my best efforts because it was something of my interest.
Our work was to get the plants from a place where they were assembled and then plant them. I even watered the plants. When we were quite satisfied with our work we went to the other group and planted some more. We leveled the ground, clicked photos and had fun. Digging up was a lot of labor and the sun was hard on us. We cleaned up when it was time for lunch, and during that I broke my footwear. So I had to walk barefoot all the way to the bus where I had an extra pair – however, on the way we found a tractor and climbed on it. It was the most fun riding the tractor on it’s back while standing, the road had so many bumps and that’s what made it more adventurous and fun. Few of my friends who didn’t get the opportunity to get in the tractor watched me and were jealous to be at my place.
Janki Van garden has numerous species of plants and shrubs. As per different constellations it has formation of certain plants and flowers. The vibrant colors of the flowers and leaves gives the place a beautiful and scenic view.
After the tiring day, we had lunch in a nearby restaurant – we all ate till we were completely full because we were all so hungry and tired.
We went to Check-Dam of Padamdungri, where some of us got refreshed by getting into the water, but I didn’t want to get wet so I had fun by clicking their pictures.
On the way back to Surat, I reflected on all the activities done and concluded that gardening is something I enjoy, so would make it my hobby for example, there are plants in my house just because on my request, and now everybody is glad because at night entire house is filled with the aroma of the flower that blossoms, and I water them regularly.
I realized I didn’t mind getting my hands dirty for a while.