Its the first early morning of my visit to the Adhikari farm, I'm sitting here in the middle of the courtyard with one ear on the birds, another on the water and the third on any sound from Jishnu sleeping in the tent; After all I'm back to being protector and provider while also being the nurturer. More on this last statement in a later blog.
The Adhikari farm covers quite an area; approx 7 acrres; and it is amazing to see how action packed it is. One cannot take 2 steps without stumbling something interesting. Yesterday Sameer introduced us to the taste of a certain ant. He just picks them and pops them. Jishnu and I ofcourse tried a few. What an explosion of tart. For such a small thing, the flavour is very intense. I haven't looked this up, but I'm guessing the tart has something to do with the amount of formic acid the ants have. Formic acid is what the ants inject when they bite. That's what burns the hell out of you. These guys are tree ants. those big, translucent red chaps which pack a hell of a bite. So they must have plenty of formic acid and hence are plenty sour and yummy. Hehehehe.
The schedule here seems to be; wake up at 5:30am, read, write, study whatever till about 7. Then take a walk around the farm identifying needs. That takes a good hour and a half. The labour arrives by 9, instructions are given and supervision is done. Breakfast is a no go. Brunch is at 10 or 10:30. Then relax till 3 or 4. A cup of Joe and back on a circuit of the farm to see what's been done etc. Seems to be a fairly chilled life, but I suspect there is a lot below the surface.
Jish had an interesting day yesterday, We left Mumbai at 7:40. He sat in the back seat and read all the way. Somehow we went to another village following google maps and had to be rescued. While waiting for our rescue party Jishnu decided to entertain the passerbys by reading on the roof of the car.
After arriving, he happily set up the tent, while I was taken on a walk around. In case you are wondering, he wanted to stay back and play on the mobile phone. The Jio network is the only one around and Jish has kindly agreed to watching just 1 hour of youtube a day. We don't know how much data the mobile games take up, but I guess we are going to find out.
It's 7:40am now, I've been up since 5:30. Well actually I've been up all night. It was most humid last night and between the heat within the tent and the mosquitoes without I've not slept. Spent most of the night listening to Jish tossing and turning which made me wonder if I was doing the right thing with the entire unschooling and the separation from his mom and his grandparents. I really don't know. I guess I'll lose a little sleep over it until some more data presents itself.
Jishnu though is fast asleep in the morning cool. how easily kids adapt!