In March my friend had a chance meeting with Jacques, one of the founders of the school at Ali s Fort View Restaurant. She spoke of a kind, gentle man who I wanted to meet. Our paths may cross as he returns to Jaisalmer tomorrow as I leave to return to the UK. In the meantime a visit to the school he helped to create has been foremost in my mind.
We journeyed by tuk tuk outside of the city, the sparse desert looming into view. Workmen tending to the new highway, drilling and placing cats eyes, India’s roads improving for easier travel routes.
We turned onto a dirt road. A small settlement on our right, the school on the left. In its our grounds, a single storey building with two teaching rooms, a teachers room with kitchen and an outside area for classes in the heat of the summer.
And the children. Beautiful children running towards us singing hello and such big hugs. Holding hands we walked the short track to the school.
The day starts with singing, following by maths, English, drawing and handicrafts. Hindi and English, and of course French, fill the air as the school starts another day and new lives are created.
They are trailblazing new ways, with kindness and care of the individual. Rudolf Steiner would be proud.
Last time I arrived in Jodphur from Pushkar, after a bumpy bus ride, we were bombarded with offers of lifts at high prices. This time we were wise.
The train left Delphi at 21.15 and we arrived at Jodphur at 9.30, a long night and an early morning roll into one. Hot, a little sweaty and personally feeling battered by the rolling motion of the train, we emerged looking for our hosts, yet knowing that the train was late and hoping that they hadn’t been waiting in the rising heat of the day.
With our 3rd companion, more about ‘it’ later, we squeezed into a tuktuk and journeyed to Kuku Homestay Guest house, close to Mehrangarh Fort. We had been upgraded, ‘up’ being the operative word as it was on the third floor. The Maharani Special, with a view to the fort, with a white cast iron bed we felt the temperature had increased from being in the city.
We freshened up with a shower and a change of clothes, it was time to plan a meeting, a coming together, months, if not years, if not life times, in the making.