Chincholi Morachi

OSI-India (Pune)

14 October 2012

Geograpy

In the native Marathi language, the name "Chincholi Morachi" signifies tamarind and peacocks, of which this beautiful, rural region abounds.  Located about half way between Pune and Ahmednagar, the region's few small villages and lack of thoroughfares help preserve it's quiet farming heritage from generation to generation.  Open range farmlands of interlaced crops, pastures, and tamarind groves provide for endless countryside wanderings, and friendly working farms open to visitors happily share daily life in the most authentic fashion.  The nearby geological site of the Nighoj Potholes provide for an interesting diversion.  And in the evening times, dancing peacocks appear in every field to provide a beautiful finale to each day.

Our Day

We departed our Janata Vasahat neighbourhood by chartered bus at 7:30 in the morning.  After an hour of Pune traffic and dusty highway, we turned off onto a suddenly beautiful country road, –one lane wandering through quiet villages and over grassy rolling hills.  The kids hardly noticed the scenery though, as all were dancing and singing.  After an hour on the country road, we arrived at a very typical farmstead, where we were greeted by a wonderfully warm farmer’s family who were awaiting our arrival.  The children took turns on a rope swing while breakfast was prepared for them.
After breakfast, we boarded our bus again for a 45-minute drive to “Nighoj Potholes,” a curious geological formation of water-hewn rocks, familiar to our children from their textbooks.  We wandered the surface of the rocks and played in the shallow waters for an hour before heading back to the farm for lunch.  At the farm, our lunch was prepared in the farmer’s own kitchen, with their own produce and via simple country methods.  The result was delicious!  After lunch the kids enjoyed a long walk through the farmlands, feasting on tamarind, and playing in an expanse of grassy meadow, –a very far cry from their cramped slum neighbourhood... –we were touched by this reaction in particular, utter and boundless joy.  We remained at the farm until 6pm when numerous wild peacocks, locally prevalent, began to appear in the surrounding fields and spread their lofty feathers, to much excitement from the kids.
Most of the below photos of our excursion were taken by visiting sponsor and OSI's dear friend Jennifer Meleana Hee from the USA who spent a productive and instructive week with the girls along with Charlyne Yi (USA) and Leigh Righton (Canada).

Acknowledgements

Thanks once again to OSI-Pune sponsor and dear friend Margaret Mahfouz from the UK for providing the full cost of our excursion and for creating yet another fantastic memory for these girls!  We were also very fortunate to be accompanied by our dear friends and OSI contributors Jennifer Meleana Hee & Charlyne Yi from the USA and Leigh Righton from Canada, who gave us a lot of other instruction and attention throughout the week!  Thanks to all of you!
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