The T.Y.B.Sc. Home Science students of Nirmala Niketan – Mumbai set out on an inspirational journey to Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha, Karjat on the 18th of February, 2013. Fr. Xavier Devdas, Director of Don Bosco Karjat welcomed us with an orientation speech where he introduced us to all the guest speakers & animators of the various sessions. The program entitled “Making a Difference” (M.A.D.) was coordinated by Fr. Glenford Lowe, Fr. Xavier Devdas, Fr. Cleophas Braganza, Fr. Anthony Charles & Brother Renold Lemos.
In the first session, Fr. Glenn asked us if we had any expectations which we wanted to achieve within the next two days. Through his innovative ways, he helped us distinguish between what is important and what is superficial. He kept repeating, “What you see is what you get.” He added that only when we adopt a change in perspective, then will we embark on a procedural change. Though a variety of introspective moments on our life perspective, group sharing and life changing testimonies shared by Fr. Glenn, we were able to participate in the program in a better way.
After lunch, we had an ‘Eco Tour’ guided by Fr. Xavier Devdas. His passion, his creativity and his strength of focus was really inspiring as he delivered his knowledge on the importance of a sustainable and eco-friendly enterprise and environment. He showcased his works at Don Bosco which left us amazed, making us aware ‘that no one is useless and that there is wealth in trash’.
After tea, we were surprised when invited to the playground for a round of baseball & square ball. Fr. Charles & Br. Lemos patiently taught us the rules of the games, divided us into teams and gave everyone an opportunity to play both the games. The setting sun on the Karjat horizon provided a beautiful curtain to close a wonderful day.
After the enthusiastic session of games, Fr. Glen conducted an animated session on ‘Living Life by a Value Compass.’ By use of powerful video clips, inspiring songs and fascinating role models, he encouraged us to think about living a meaningful and purposeful life and about making a difference in everything we do. With his own personal experience of ‘kidney donation’ he invited us to think of ways to make a worthy contribution to society and to leave a lasting legacy. With this session, we ended our first day.
The next morning, Fr. Glen led us on a trekking expedition to the peak of the nearest Karjat hill. He asked us to simultaneously make a journey within ourselves to listen to our inner voice and discover if we are quitters, campers or climbers. Breathing in the fresh morning air and accompanied by the chirping of the birds, we trekked up the hill in our quest to reach the peak.
On our return from the trek, after breakfast we were led to the Labyrinth Garden. This was a moment where we had to move through a specially prepared area all the while going through an inner journey. The quiet surroundings enabled us to be calm, to take a look at nature around, to let go of unwanted worries, to forgive people and experiences of the past. They invited us to dwell in the presence of the divine, to look at ourselves in a new perspective, to promote life and to leave a prayer of blessing and a worthy legacy behind. The awareness of our inner selves and the transformation that we experienced during those moments were worth the effort to maintain silence.
The post-lunch session conducted by Fr. Cleo got us involved in discussions about choices. This exercise helped us work as a team and to better reflect upon the daily choices we make.
After tea, we pitched tents, scout style. In a short while, our camp site was prepared and we were in for an interesting outdoor kitchen experience… cooking on firewood chullahs with limited resources. We discovered how well we could work even with limitations and restrictions. The delicious meals prepared by each group were then sampled by the camp judges before we sat in our tents to share supper.
After dismantling the tents and clearing our outdoor kitchens, we had a lot of fun around the campfire. Fr. Glenn initiated us in star gazing, pointing out the visible constellations. We ended the day on a happy note with music, dancing and participating in the action song ‘Making melody in my heart.’
We enjoyed our brief stay at Don Bosco Karjat, making the most of the facilities, spaces and opportunities available. We came through this M.A.D. adventure truly refreshed and inspired.
– T.Y.B.Sc. Home Science students of Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai