The day began with so much enthusiasm, a drive from the bus-stop till the forest center woke up everyone :)
Followed by breakfast, made with love.
Soon after a short break and letting them indulge into the forest vibe, we got to a brief introduction and the flow of the weekend.
“Few people meet first time, they feel that meeting each other was the purpose of their life.”
KOKUM - FRUIT PICKING
Sun kissed walks, climbing trees, and a lot of bonding.
The participants were divided into 3 different groups (for fun) and to ensure everyone learns to work as a community.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” ― Helen Keller
KOKUM- THE PROCESS
The process began with drinking some freshly made Kokum juice by Hema akka :)
The next step was to segregate the ripe and good fruits, beware of the worms that are hidden. The groups, got down to work at once. After the segregation each fruit were to be wiped clean.
The next step was to further divide the fruit and segregate the pulp and shell for the Kokum preserve.
“May your adventures bring you closer together, even as they take you far away from home.”
After the separation, the Kokum fruit shells were smothered in sugar and directed put into sun dried clean glass jars. One big jar for each group.
After the main one was done each group was allowed to experiment with the Kokum shella and add any other ingredient apart from sugar.
This was a very exciting experiment, group 1. decided to add palm jaggery, salt and lime.
Group 2. added dried red chillies, jaggery, green chilli and lime.
Group 3 added lime, cinnamon, jaggery, kokum juice, some kokum shells and pepper and lemon seeds.
After all the fun work together in the summer-ness, a well deserved treat was up ahead.
Soon after lunch we got introduced to our tribe scholars Hanmi (river tribe) who shared and taught her beautiful art form to the participants.
Simultaneously, Subbi akka (forest tribe) who taught some of us to weave baskets from a creeper that grows in the forest.
A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.
There was so much knowledge exchanged,
questions, stories, experiences...
language issues, laughter.
Yes it was as fun as you think!
Soon everyone set off on a time for themselves, group walks, explorations, bonding and being one with forest.
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
― John Muir
Slowly the night crept in, and we sat under the moonlit sky, chatting with our forest friends, and also shelling the Kokum seeds for another process the following day.
“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
― Lemony Snicket
An adventurous trip to Yana cave temple.
The day followed by with an introduction to the making of Kokum butter which is widely used for health and skin related remedies.
Soon after a delicious lunch, the process of weaving cane basket was taught by Ramachandra Bhattru.
The day followed by us having lots to share and circle time where we spoke about all the seamless journeys, the authenticity, no boundaries, a lot of space and the most important a major learning.
The weekend ended with a lot of smiles, a Kokum recipe handmade book, jars of kokum and a bag full of memories.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin_________________________________________________________________________________