Hi All ,
Many of you may be aware of the Golden Glades School, the only secondary school in the villages around Kamshet catering to all the children who complete their primary education in their respective village schools.Nirvana Adventures has been associated with the Golden Glades school since the 2009 when we assisted Dutchmen Eddie , Oscar and gang donating the money they received for a delayed baggage claim to a good cause by suggesting the GG school as the beneficiary. Check the full story.
Since then we have maintained a close relationship with the school organising tree planting drives, attending their school sports days, holding dental camps and Independence Day functions. We have committed to work closely with this school as we see it as an opportunity to impact the lives of the children from all the nearby villages. The school is rather tiny yet it accommodates 400+ students. . Despite the large numbers and the lack of basic infrastructure they have an overall class 10 passing of 86% of the students which is a good number for a village school thanks to a vibrant teaching and support staff.
It has 2 classrooms for class 8, two class rooms for class 9 and one for class 10. There are 102 students in class 10 this year the kids have been sitting on the floor all along in a cramped fashion.This year they approached us to help them procure a 100 benches for the students , and the teachers themselves sourced out a supplier to make the benches locally.
We are very happy to let you know we achieved the target with the support from our well wishers and friends and have now been able to provide the students comfortable seating for the hours that they spend in the classroom. Now the school has started work on a new classroom for the class 10 kids and the plan is to have a projector and computer set up for E learning to better their chances to get good grades and get exposure to modern training methods , current information and technology.
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings
Astrid & Sanjay Rao
Some of the above were familiar faces, people we have known for many years , as well as first time visitors. Each guest found their own place in the sun / sky / hammock. Every guest was treated to panoramic nature views from the air and from Native Place, enjoyed great food at Native Place, made friends, achieved best flights and pushed their boundaries … Most of all each of them felt a sense of being at home – in this remote rural corner of India – at a unique eco friendly and culturally sensitive guesthouse called Native Place.
We got to Kamshet on Friday evening in time to meet Marco Contecelli an old friend who had come back to fly and meet up with us after 6 years of being away in Geneva and Rome. It was wonderful to see him and we reminisced about the early days and caught up on the new stuff.
Flying at Tower hill was an absolute treat this weekend. Two other visiting pilots (Rene) and Niles as well as a number of Nirvana club pilots – Gokul, Shin Chan, Vineet, Dylan, Sunil, Porush. Dwane and Piku drove up for an afternoon flight on Sunday.
On Saturday we took off at about three in the afternoon. Mild winds and many pilots led to a merry go around of sorts with everyone trying to stay in the narrow lift band, working hard and just about managing to stay above the takeoff level.
Porush and Renee (a visiting pilot from Singapore) bombed out after a while and landed in the fields below. I too was pretty low for the 4th time in the span of an hour and was just thinking about leaving the slope when, like a perfect day in January the entire valley began to lift and we were all ‘on’ once more.
Sunith and his class mate Rehaan flew tandem with Ravi. Sunith was pleased with his half hour flight as Ravi gave him the controls. Sunil me and Gokul, just back from a week of flying in the Himalayas agreed that the experience had left us more confident but all the same we were happy to be enjoying the air the familiarity and the happy company at Kamshet.
Sunday afternoon began with strong conditions and then it got progressively more hospitable. I headed back home in the morning watching the sky all the way back. It was a perfect day for cloud spotting as you can see in Jessica Mellocastro’s photos.
Today’s hour long flight was a triumph. Thermalling can grow on you- it takes a fine awareness that is challenging, absorbing and exciting. My variometer was acting up and remained silent for most of the flight but there was no stopping me. I turned and turned and milked the tiniest updraft. My instructor’s occasional reassuring voice on the radio kept me going.
It feels great to be high – to rise up mightily above it all, to fly with and follow the magnificently graceful Himalayan Griffon vultures and black shouldered kites.
The conquering hero has now developed a confident stride.
Met for dinner at the 3 women’s dhaba – this mother & daughters team is simply fantastic. Great home cooked food and loads of genuine friendly warmth. I’m grateful for meeting and connecting with so many wonderful people. Chintu who had arrived only yesterday played the flute for us, Gokul whistled along – a magical setting for an impromptu concert.
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings
Woke up early and was pleasantly surprised to see what seemed to be a party of pied rather large paradise flycatcher like birds gliding excitedly from one tree to another. Still haven’t identified them but it sure was an interesting opera while it lasted.
After breakfast we drove up to Billing, the flying site located at a height of 2600 m, 14 km away by road. As we made our way upwards the temperature dropped progressively. Gliders were already up in the air although the inversion hung low.
I played with Panku a little Himachali boy at Chachu’s tea shop until it was time to head up to the takeoff and get into gear. A top to bottom was all I was interested in doing on day one – clearing the takeoff with my dignity intact, a straight glide and a good landing.
After a heart pounding flight ½ hour top to bottom passing through thermic, lifting and sinking air and feeling the different nuances in the air here I landed below at Sunset point in the village of Bir 2080 m below. I proceeded to calmly pack my glider – feeling like a conquering hero.