As part of the Interdisciplinary Field trip MYP 3 went to the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. We left on the 4th of February and returned to Pune on the 8th of February. We learned all about the culture, people, and wildlife. The activities, experiences, and places visited introduced opportunities for us to engage in ways that sometimes are not possible within the confines of our campus in Pune. Each day we had to sketch and take notes in the field and this became our research as we prepared for an IDU that focused on Art and Science assessments. The daily routine of writing reflections proved to be an effortless task as we reminisced about our adventures. (Tia, Avanya, Anushka & Corinna)
We departed from Pune at
6:30 am and reached Ahmedabad at 7:30 am. Later on, after collecting our
luggage, we stopped on the way for breakfast and sat on the bus for 3 and a
half hours to get to ‘The Little Rann of Kutch’. We arrived at our resort, The
Royal Safari Camp.
On day one, we visited the workshop of Mata Ni Pachedi and Tangalia. Mata Ni Pachedi is an old form of folk printing, it is also known as ‘The Sacred Cloth Art’. They explained that they took three to six months to complete these pieces and they have used natural dyes in the production of their textiles. They explained how the ‘pigment’ they use, is not paint but are natural pastes and mixtures. All the paintings that are on the textile, originated from fictional and folk beliefs. We were given the opportunity to purchase some of the items and to contribute to the livelihood of the artists and craftsmen.
(Saumya, Arisha, Joon Hee & Avika)
Mata Ni Pachedi
the second day, we went on a safari in the morning. On our way to the safari,
we listened to music as a group and sang along the way. Once we reached the
safari we still listened to music but at a minimal volume so we would not scare
the animals away. Before we went to the safari, we visited the wild ass outreach
center where we learnt about the history of the Little Rann of Kutch
and how the wild asses evolved, as well as
their similar traits with donkeys and horses. We saw many different species of
plants as well as animals, the two most prominent being the wild asses and
flamingos. We were divided into groups and did scientific
tests on the water and soil. Each group had a different line of inquiry and had to
collect data based on their research questions. We went to a salt farm during the safari and saw the salt pans and again sketched on site. We came back to the hotel and had lunch. After that, we split into two groups and one made kites while the other designed kites with newspaper. We went to the Malik tribe and interacted with them. We gave them the kites and packets of simple toiletries to encourage better hygiene. We went to the hotel, had dinner and discussed the IDU in groups and presented ideas as a class. about how the salt is ionized, and the procedure was explained in detail.
Salt farm & Malik Tribe
On the third day, we visited two historical places. The first was ‘Rani Ki Vav’, which was a three-hour drive from our hotel. The Rani Ki Vav area is built facing the east-west direction and measures is 64 m by 20 m and 27 m deep. The artisans took 40 years to complete the design and it has different patterns, sculptures and stories. It has been declared as a protected monument of national importance. We gathered information on Rani Ki Vav and we had time to sketch to produce drawings that illustrated our visit. We went to ‘Sun Temple’ also known as ‘The Modera temple’ which is also a historical place. It is a Hindu Temple and it was built after 1026 CE during the reign of Bhima. There are three main temple monuments. We spread out and started to sketch the sun temple.
Ye Eun, Cayleb & Priya)
On the fourth day, we went to the bird sanctuary and we saw different species. We sat down in the sanctuary and sketched the landscape with birds. After that, we went to the ‘Salt Factory’ where we saw how the salt was kept in piles and how it was packaged. When we entered we saw a machine for packing salts and we were told
We also saw how they packaged the salt. We also saw how the belt which takes the salt to the packaging room is sterilized and salt crystallizing on it. While entering rooms, on the doors and the walls, you could see a finer powdery salt across the room and
how it wasn’t crystallizing compared to the belt.
After the salt factory, we played with our friends and then went to the bonfire where we danced and enjoyed ourselves. During the bonfire, we had a farewell party for Carmen which had been planned with cake, music, and banners all the way. During the bonfire we had all the teachers and students wishing Carmen farewell, then we went around the bonfire and did dances and sang and then we went to sleep at 11:00 we woke up an hour later the next day.
Karim, & Kabir
On the last day, our plans were to travel the entire time and because of this we enjoyed breakfast slowly and left at 10:00am. We then drove four hours and stopped once to get food and some collectables for the ride. Then when we reached the airport we checked in and went to the bathrooms and then we went on the plane. The ride flew by and we landed at about 6:00pm. Then we all said goodbye to Carmen and went home.
Overall, the trip to Gujarat was certainly an enlightening experience. We saw our world from a whole different perspective. Our understanding of Gujarat can be explained from the perspective of a tribe, the perspective of villagers, and from the perspective of those who are less fortunate and live in extreme poverty.
I must say that I am very blessed to have met such people, even though they may not have the same luxurious life as we do they still put on a smile everywhere they go. Not only the humanitarian aspect of it, but the architectural uniqueness of Gujarat was simply stunning. The Rani Ki Vav, for example, a stepwell made from the Queen by her loyal subjects. There is so much history behind each structure made in Gujarat. I think one of the most important sightseeing places which we visited was the Modhera Sun Temple. It is exactly what it sounds like, a temple where the sun shines through a specific opening in the temple and shines in a beautiful manner. Twice a year, on the 23rd of March and the 21st of September.
The wildlife of Gujarat was also very enthralling to learn about. Getting the opportunity to see flamingos in their natural habitat is something very rare, which shouldn’t be taken for granted. Visiting the wild asses, who originate from the family of donkeys, involved a painstaking process called ‘being quiet or the wild ass runs the other way’ which I’ll admit, was very difficult. Yet, I think the overall thing that excited me was getting to see them not cooped up between bars while getting fed every couple of hours. Out there, they were just happily eating their grass and didn’t seem very bothered by a pack of hungry tourists waiting to get their ‘autographs’ so to speak.
In conclusion, the trip to Gujarat was an unforgettable journey with unforgettable memories.
(Ali, Jayda, Sam, Timon,Devanshi, Ravi)
(Photo & sketches credits- Mr. Joseph & Students of MYP-3)