Adventuresome in collaboration with CampHalli had organized this event –“Women on Adventure” on the 12th and 13th of October. It was one of its kind.
While choices are many for trippers to travel and explore the world around, what made “Women on Adventure” unique is that, we got to meet like-minded women and spend quality time with them amidst farm, nature and animals.This event was fun and educative at the same time. Right from the choices of games to the activities, everything had a purpose behind it.
CampHalli is a farm land located in the valleys. It is a farm land collectively owned and run by a group of natural farmers. This farm, they let out for explorers, adventure enthusiasts, campers and nature lovers.
The team and the participants started to arrive at around 6.30 -7 pm. While a Tempo Traveler was arranged for the participants, the event organizers travelled on their 2-wheeler. As everyone were settling down and getting comfortable, they were served fresh hot Indian snacks – onion and capsicum bajiyas along with aromatic mouth-watering Gulab Jamun.
CampFire and Program starts
The campfire was immediately set up by 7.30pm as there already was a delay. The dinner preparation was taking its own sweet time as the hosts thought it would be best to serve hot and hence half the cooking was yet to start till all the adventure enthusiasts arrived.
Finally, as all the participants started to freshen up and assemble around the bonfire, the program kick-started at 8pm. The host introduced herself and the farm, and asked Adventuresome team to take it from there.
The Skillful coordinator from Adventuresome introduced a game which needed every person in the arena to express their name through dumb shards. The game not just helped the participants get to work with their left part of the brain, it also broke the ice amongst the participants. Although it wasn’t like each one knew others’ names and got along with everyone, but eventually they got to understand other participants to an extent.
Each participant had to introduce themselves verbally. We had participants who were from the Indian AirForce background, we had participants who were students, working women from different domains, housewives, and psychiatrist and creative geniuses too. The vibrancies gave enough color to the event. Each one had something unique to express about thems
elves and the fears they would love to overcome or face. For most participants, this was their first of its kind experience, where they would leave behind their everyday life and get along with or spend time with people who they have never met in life.
By the time all the introductions were complete, the hosts were ready to serve. Food, they decided would be vegetarian. There was a proper full meal dinner served with Gobi Manchurian, Rotis, mixed Vegetable curry, Pulao, Raita, salad and plain curds. The food was sumptuous enough. Although, served late, it was diligently accepted as most of them were hungry by then. The participants seemingly enjoyed the food.
Pitching in Tents-
Post dinner, the participants were demonstrated about how a tent needs to be pitched in. The participants got to put up their own tents and were provided sleeping bags. It was a first time experience for all the participants to pitch in their own tents. Most of them were given a helping hand by the Adventuresome Team. The participants expressed their excitement to live for a day in a place unknown in a farm and amongst unknown. They were both exited and had a feeling of overcoming their fears. However, as everyone were still in good spirits, there was another game planned by Adventuresome. It was a mind game, which needed the participants to identify role plays. Most participants were awake till almost 12.30 am. Post that they started to drizzle out and retire into their camp tents while few ladies and Adventuresome team stayed up till 5 am in the morning.
Ladies had a fun time dancing to the tunes of a high spirited Zumba dancer. She was elegant in her presentation and ensured engaging the ladies completely.
All of them danced and made merry leaving behind any kind of inhabitions they carried. This session helped ladies to overcome their fears of being judged and thus curtailing self from carrying out any kind of endeavors towards their dreams. The campfire added fuel to the enthusiasm of the participants.
Few of the participants watched the morning sun raise in the east with all its bloom. The nature around smilingly seemed to be welcoming the participants. Nature, in all its greenery was fresh with dews on the leaves just to let us know that the leaves had a tiny shower. With the morning twilight merged into the dews, they seemed like tiny pearls on the leaves. Lot of sounds of morning chirping birds, peacocks shrilling, mooing animals, all made a jingle in themselves. The dogs of the farm were keen to see few people lying without shelter over their heads. The dogs woke them up with their bark. Soon after the monkeys visited the farm. There was a little tiff between the monkeys and the dogs and quite a bit altercation exchanged between them. The dogs seemed to care less after a while and journeyed on their own.
All these, the participants witnessed while sipping a hot cup of tea served, or by few when getting out of the beds or by few when they were freshening up.
The Yoga Session-
Post tea, every one assembled for a session in YOGA practices. The event organizers spread out sheets for Yoga participants. There were lesser number of sheets spread in comparison to the number of participants. However, the lady who led the Yoga-session was diligently and patiently teaching the participants importance of breathing, the inhalation and exhalation process. This, kind of compensated for the lack of infrastructure. The host made a note of things to be procured for their next camp.
Purpose of Yoga
The participants got to experience the right moves in Yoga, and the purpose of the moves. The yoga instructor made it pretty clear about the importance of how and why Yoga Practice is more a spiritual journey than an external one. The Yoga teacher provided guidance to cure certain women related issues like PCOD. She showed the participants what kind of asanas need to be done to overcome these issues. She promptly guided them with a step-by-step procedure to enter the asana and hold oneself in the posture. The insights were really helpful to most participants in the group. Each of the ladies assembled there would have taken it as a good value learning for them to implement it in their daily routine. These insights would be useful both for future mothers and current mothers too.
Soon after, fruits were provided for the participants. This was around 8.30 AM.
At around 9 AM, after their mini snack, along with the local villager, the farm manager, the farm’s horse trainer, the event organizer group and the participants started off on their trekking. 21 people started off on their journey towards the unknown. With the local villager guiding them, they stomped ahead to enjoy the nature and observe every inch of it while also being prepared for what they could expect in their expedition ahead.
As it was 9 am already, the sun was bright scorching. Most ladies and the accompanying men, were ready equipped with their sun glasses, caps and water bottles. With as minimal stuff to be carried, they treaded ahead with their shoes on. The villager leading them had a sickle as his weapon to cut down any kind of wild grass of any sort in the path.
The choice of Destinations
Now there are couple of trekking destinations prevalent around the farm. One path is almost 3 hours which is towards the back of the farm. It’s a very tricky path. One needs to climb over the mountain to reach the other side of the mountain where there is a beautiful Shiva temple located. This temple has many visitors throughout the day and many monkeys loiter around here with an anticipation of food and water. The temple gets cool breeze from the mountain and the surrounding forest. This temple has a natural pond into which water from the mountains above get collected.
Another path is adjacent to this path which would take a minimum of 2 hours to reach the destination. It’s a little tricky and a little challenging a path adorned with many rocks all along the path. The destination for this trek is a huge rock, from where the whole of the vicinity within 5 kms can be viewed. This path is tedious but beautiful. The valley in which this path is, also houses a small tributary. The sound of the stream added with the surrounding sounds, could tickle one’s mind.
However, it would be advisable to start trekking on these paths starting early in the morning.
This team was taken on a third path which is one of the shortest and easiest. This was chosen as we did not want to risk on our very first expedition. This path is full of rocks and shrubby shady trees.
The participants and the event organizers trekked along to enter into a path they never stepped in before. Most participants climbed on the rocks and entered the shades of the trees. With a huge group, they together enjoyed walking, talking, exploring and exhausting selves in the process. As they neared to the destination, they climbed the rock to get a full view of the roads in the front of the farm and the back forest. The view was exalting. The farm house and the camp ground could be viewed from the point up there. It was as if watching the farm from another planet altogether. By the time, they reached the altitude most participants were exhausted. They relaxed atop and had snacks that they got. The beauty of the spot was beyond words. Due to rains doing their work, the greenery in the area has simply multiplied to enhance the spirits of the forest there.
The whole trek- trip was a journey which lasted for 1 hour and 45 minutes. So the journey up took a good 50 -55 minutes. Post which the gang relaxed atop for a good 20 minutes. As they started to walk back, they were eager enough to return due to the time constraint. This trek was an important part of the trip. Trekking or walking is a kind of meditation which helps one to introspect and seek answers.
After nearly an hour or more, they returned exhausted, weary, thirsty and hungry. As they returned, breakfast was all ready to be served at the farmhouse, near the place where they camped. Most ladies felt joyful for having taken this trekking trip for. One of the reasons most expressed was that they could overcome a fear of unknowingness. They loved the breathlessness too. The fresh air of the mountains and forest, filled in their lungs, the ladies seemed enthusiastic for more such adventures. The gang seemed to help one another in their advent although most participants were not acquainted at all prior to meeting at the Campsite. During the ongoing trekking many expressed their surprise to know the existence of such a place close to Bangalore. The breath taking views was mesmerizing enough for most participants wanting to return back to the place in some manner. This trek gave many a required boast to explore self and the need to get answers.
The participants were ready for the next activity in store for them post the trek. Food. Breakfast was ready for the participants. Idli, Vada and sambar was served to everyone. Food was liked by all. Maybe the hunger within them may have also triggered their taste buds.
Self-Defense Training –
After a short break post breakfast, participants were ready for the next activity laid out for them. The next activity was the Self-Defense training. This activity was led by a veteran kung-Fu martial arts trainer. Although there were some lapses in communications, the program over all went fine with the trainer sharing important practical inputs required to save oneself during any kind of adversaries. The presentation may have not been a professional one, nevertheless, there were many take-away.
Initially, the instructor brought out his observations on how attacks can happen on to both men
and women. From there he took on to how it is important for one to identify who one’s accomplices are and how it is important to always be on guard for the safety of self. He then moved on to show various kinds of attacks that could happen -like robbery, psycho attacks, eve teasing, an eventuality of brutal attacks to harm one’s self-respect. While addressing these issues, he emphasized on the point that the person being attacked need to be calm. He brought out the importance of being on guard all the time for which he said how one needs to practice breathing exercises and Yoga for a minimum of one hour every day. He demonstrated couple of breathing poses and methodologies to strengthen one’s inner self. This he said is a weapon to combat any kind of retaliation. He mentioned the importance to have some kind of a weapon like a small pocket knife to ensure to buy few seconds of time, within which one can plan to help oneself escape from the incident.
He then moved on to demonstrate a few moves of how one can attack and how one can utilize one’s own strength, i
n whatever limitations one has, to combat the persecutes. During the demonstration, he pointed out at how, using the edge of the palm is the best method to fight. He went on to say, attacking the face of the attacker is the best method to self-defend. The face is the place, which is most delicate with jaws, nose and eyes being the soft parts which can be harmed easily and thus ensuring escape. He then went on to demonstrate which body parts other than face can be attacked for safe escape. However, he gave a caution saying, a person needs to practice well, to indemnify the attack through the body attack. But a face attack is a sure shot victory.
End of Self-defense training
He followed it up, by asking few participants to volunteer to try the moves that he showed them thus far. As the session was going over time, and the time of the “women on adventure” was coming to a close, it needed to be wound up.
The instructor ended the session with few FAQs and reasoning. There were couple of real life experiences shared by the participants, which were welcomed and appreciated.
Post this, there were a lot of free conversations that happened. With the time nearing, most participants started to pack their bags. Most were tired and were again ready to hit the bed.
As the session was concluding, a circular assembly was held, where each one got to share their experience, how they felt there, how they were a step bolder than were, and what their learning/ take away was during the 20 hours of their stay and activity in the farm. Each participant had nice stuff to speak about their whole experience. For most of them, it was relatively productive holiday or a get away from the city’s hustles. After the accolades and acknowledgements, everyone were ready to leave with their bags and loads of memories to share with their near and dear ones.
While leaving, the host distributed sandwiches as a ‘thank you’ for their coming to the farm and their participation.
As people started ascending back into the Tempo Traveler, there was joy of having met and a sadness of separation.
All though there were a few clichés during the 20 hours of “Women on Adventure”, it was definitely a success with most of the activities going on in full swing and fun. The participants and the event organizers were a great team on their own and on a whole. It would be a welcome to host another such session sooner.
Although the event targeted to help participants get few learnings as take away, I believe the host and the event organizer too learned a lot from the event.
With an eagerness to host one more such event, I end this blog with all gratitude for Adventuresome for having chosen us to host the event and the participants for having participated.
I soulfully seek forgiveness for all the shortfalls during the event. Every such shortfall would be addressed in the coming events.
Till then Adieu!!
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