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Saturday, May 08, 2010

DESTINY- Hari Pant from India

I am Hari from the mountainous State of Uttara Khand in India.

Hari in his garden in Bhimtal

UttaraKhand state was carved out of State of Utter Pradesh. It was created by combining nine Himalayan Region districts in 2008. The state has borders with Nepal and Tibet.

I am in Santa Cruz, and an apprentice, attending six months long course on
Agroecology, in UCSC conducted by CASFS from April 12 to October 15, 2010. I have been given to understand that I am the first apprentice from India in the last 41 years of this course, although an odd Indian of the US origin has attended this course a couple of years ago. During this course I represent the whole of South East Asia. I am 69 years old and have ample reasons to believe that no one in sixtees have been here to attend this course. Thus I have many firsts to my credit !!!.
If one does not believe in destiny, I am sure after reading this page will surely do so.
It was 26 Jan 2007. Time 07.30 AM. I am at Bhimtal, in my home located at 4573 feet above the sea level in the State of Uttara Khand, in India. Bhimtal is very close to Nepal and little far from Tibet borders.
Bhimtal Lake

Krishna Kunj

After a long conversation, I decided to fly to UK at the earliest. I arrived in London on 03 February 2007. And on 14 February 2007, lo and behold, four minutes passed midnight we were blessed with Juneili, a bundle of joy and a normal delivery.


The gynecologist had expressed the desire to meet me before my daughter Richa and baby Juneili leave hospital. I meet the doctor the same evening, who was surprised that Homeopathic medicines are help full and noted the treatment I had given to Richa.
He also suggested that I may be interested to have a look on the courses conducted at Schumacher College, Devon.

Bundle of Joy

A day later some one knocked at the door. I opened the door and brought a man dressed in an elegant Kurta Payjama and sandals up to the living room. It was a surprise that he was not feeling cold. He was one Kranti Prakash, an old friend of Rajesh, my son in law. I started listening to his interesting story of arriving in UK to attend a course related to organic farming in Schunacher College, Davon.

Schumacher College, U.K.

College Building

I opened Schumacher College web site and found a course named Illness to Wellness open for registration. It was to cost 900.00 pounds. As I could not afford Pound 900.00, I applied for a bursary and after a lot of correspondence was lucky to get registered.
I attended the Course Illness to Wellness in April - May 2007.

and on completion of six months stay in UK, I returned to Bhimtal, to my area of work.

In 2008, I received a mail from Schumacher college asking if I would be interested in a three-week long course Reconnecting Nature as a Healer. I applied for the Course and requested for bursary too. My application stated the truthful and factual reasons for seeking the bursary and how the course will be of immense use to me in serving my community, with whom I am involved in providing preventive and basic health care besides assistance in organic gardening/ farming etc. It was again my destiny that my application was accepted. This time I was at Schumacher for a little over three weeks.

Cathrine Sneed of The Garden Project from San Francisco, California was one of the teachers on this Course. On a sunny morning while teaching out doors, she mentioned about additional training possibilities in US and I made a note of it. On completion of the Course I came back to India and to my home town Bhimtal, bundled with a lot more energy, vigor and vitality. Cathrine is a good motivator and I started putting to practice what she taught us in a very short period of two weeks. I now became over busy with my Non Profit activities. Not only we extended our out reach, we took one more village school under our umbrella.
Towards September 2008, I remembered to apply for Apprenticeship Course. I forwarded an application for attending a six months long course in Center of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). The making of an application was an exercise in itself as it required writing six short essays.
CASFS responded that dates for receiving the application have passed for April 2009 course with advice to apply for April 2010 course during September 2009.
In September 2009, I sent application CASFS for the course commencing in April 2010. On 27 December 2009, I received a mail from UCSC about my selection for the course with scholarship, commencing April 12, 2010 and ending October 15, 2010. I was really elated and excited and forwarded the same immediately to all my siblings, friends and well wishers .

I left New Delhi boarding Lufthansa airline at 0900 hrs on April 07, 2010 for Munich, where after a stop over of 3 hrs I was to board another flight to Sansfranscisco (SFO). The connecting flight was delayed due to leakage in one of the fuel tanks. This gave time to enjoy second cup of Latte coffee along with a sandwich packed by Pragya before leaving home at New Delhi. The security at Delhi and Munich airport allowed the sandwich but at Munich a sealed bottle of water was not allowed which I had collected from the air hostess before deboarding and then proceeding straight to board flight for SFO.
The Sandwich packed by Pragya, my second daughter, was really delicious and very filling. I felt as if Pragya my second daughter, has poured a lot of love too in the Sandwich. Pragya is very good at heart.
After a delay of a little over five and half hours, the flight left Munich on its 13 hours flight to SFO.
Cathrine was unaware of the delay and was on her way to airport. The screen computer on board aircraft showing the flight details too had frozen. It was still showing a travel time of two hours to the destination, when flight started descending to land. At immigration on hearing reply that I am here to study in UCSC, the inspector wondered if we could change our jobs for the next six months!!!. I was impressed and thought that this speaks volumes about CASFS and the Course.
At last I was in California (SFO) after being on board an aircraft or in transit for over 42 hrs. I left home at 5.10 AM on April 7, 2010 and reached SFO April 8, 2010 at 00.30 AM. I realized that one gains a day while flying East to west.
Once out with baggage, I saw Cathrine. It was windy and chilly and I became cold. The drive from the airport to her home in the city was a display of opulence and beauty. After having a toast and a cup of tea I hit the bead at 2.10 AM California time. The time difference between India and California is 12.30 hrs. I was wide awake after sleeping for about three hours, ostensibly due to jet lag.
At 7.50 AM on April 08,2010 I left with Cathrine to San Ffransisco Jail Area which houses her brain child The Garden Project.
Her office is as spartan as her home, though she is a big celebrity in her own way. The time spent in her project area made me to think about her immense contribution to the society.Here was an example for any one to see in practice what a single person's vision can achieve. It reminded me of the words of Noble Laureate from India, Ravindra Nath tagore " AKELA CHALO RE", which means, walk alone if you think you are right and others would follow.

On 10 April 2010, Cathrine drove me to Santa Cruz and left me at the Farm center, which would be my hub of activities for the next six months.


posted by Hari Pant @ 11:43 AM


At 1:37 PM, Blogger Ana said...

I wish you well, Hari. You are a huge inspiration and I know you will bring lots of healing knowledge back with you to India. Thank you for all that you are doing to make this world a better place.

in peace,


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