>Travel Pictures


Matheran Week Without Walls

October 2007

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The "Week Without Walls" is a tradition at ASB (and many other international schools) that takes place at the beginning of the school year - intending to help the various classes bond through group building activities and a sense of community. Dave had the chance to travel with the 6th grade to Matheran to spend some time helping them with their transition to middle school. 

We enjoyed a week of outdoors activities, centered around the nature that the area is famous for. One of their hikes was led by Mr. T - Mr. Matheran as people know him. He knows everything there is to know about Matheran's flora, fauna, and history, and kept the kids entertained as they wandered the paths. 

With a ton of luggage piled up for the week and goodbyes properly said to all the concerned mothers at the car parking area, the kids laced up their hiking boots and started the hike up to the pedestrian hill station

At another time, the kids went to the home of a British family that had bought and restored a bungalow in Matheran. Their challenge - to build a small fireplace and cook chapatis - rolled flatbread. With the help of some local knowledge, most of the groups were able to live up to the challenge, and they had some delicious self-made bread (with honey!) for lunch. I think they were all pretty excited that they'd been able to do something most of them had never thought about.

But man (and woman, and kids) shall not live on chapatis alone. We had meals provided at our hotel for us, and they were tasty even though they were completely vegetarian. That's right, an entire week without meat or egg products (or beer, but that's an entirely different story). My hippie friends would be so proud of me.


But the fruit was tasty and the tea was plentiful, so we managed to get by...

And with good stretching and plenty of games to play, there was nobody who had energy left by the end of the day!

And those team-building activities? We spent an afternoon rock climbing and rappelling, as well as river crossing and jumaring. I even got into the action!

(Of course, it wasn't until we got back that it was pointed out to me how we really should've had helmets and stuff on)

But of course, the biggest fascination was for the monkeys that were everywhere. We had candy and food stolen by them, and a teacher bringing a load of treats was surrounded by langurs (the kind on the right) and was 'relieved' of three boxes of Kit Kats. There were rock throwing incidents, people being locked in their rooms, and a constant look out for the little beasts.

We even found a statue to a monkey god on the way home!!

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