Sirsi and beyond

Posted by Helen 
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About a week ago I went with our friends Barbara, Pete and Tracey for another road-trip down to Sirsi. Barbara and I often do these ‘Thelma and Louise’ expeditions, but now we had two more willing, if eventually very tired, companions.

After leaving a very sleepy Goa behind (even the cats and dogs weren’t up), we travelled through the beautiful scenery on mountain roads, crossing into Karnataka and soon persuaded ourselves that we really did want to stop at one of India’s equivalents of a service station. A quick puri baji and a cup of hot sweet South Indian coffee later, we were on our way, skirting the Ashi National Park on the way to Yellapur and finally dropping down into Sirsi.

The drive takes about four hours and is worth every second – we competed to be the first to see an azure flash of kingfisher flight, and the large outlines of a  hornbill as it soared across the sky.

Before we knew it we were being warmly greeted at Sirsi by the kids and staff alike. Fr Avin was hugely grateful for the support you are all offering which has enabled the twelve kids to be sponsored through their education and more books to be purchased for the library. We spent hours causing mild chaos in the school – interrupting classes, dancing (very badly!) with the girls as they practiced for their own cultural show, handing out sweets and so on – interspersed with more serious chats with Frs Avin and Felix on the issues surrounding the school.

Culture and Self Expression thru Dance

And then we were ready for the long trek home. It might be a slog to get there and back, but the rewards are high. Karnataka is a large state with some prosperous cities (you might have heard of Bangalore?) but the small country towns are still very short on facilities so everything we do here has a big impact.


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