When I came across the RiVAA summer internship program I was excited at the opportunity for my daughter. This summer it turned out to be everything that I wanted her to experience.
For me it was great to be in RV again, and it brought back so many memories of my time in school. The music assemblies, the arts and crafts, the folk dance, the hikes, the sunsets and the long walks. As most old students feel, the many things we took for granted as students, seemed so much more precious now .The calm environment, surrounded by nature, filled with the sounds of the birds are things I completely cherished during my stay. I enjoyed the adventurous hike to windmill rock (got fully drenched on the way back from windmill rock) and the splendid views from the top of meditation point. Despite the lack of rain, it was a treat to see the green valley from the top of the mountains.
It was wonderful to see some of my old teachers and staff who almost look the same as they did 27 years ago (the valley doesn’t let you age). I was lucky to go to a few music classes and relive the old times. I met a lot of new teachers over lunch and dinner. Had interesting conversations about things students are working on such as making soap and shampoo, and the exciting new Design and Technology center coming up. I had a great time catching up with my senior, who is now a teacher at RV. It is heartwarming to know that while time has passed , there are so many things that have stayed the same that make RV what it is.
I wanted Riya to spend time at RV and get a taste of all the things I love about RV. It was hard at first, especially since she was ‘missing’ a month of her summer back home and took a week or so for her to get used to the routine, and the culture of RV. Waking up in the morning was hard (She skipped a few breakfasts 😊). But she eased into the routine and got to spend time with the 11th graders and do the folks dance, games, and spend Saturday afternoons in the girls hostel playing board games, singing and just hanging out with the girls. She also got to try batik, hiking, and biking around the on the weekend. What meant a lot to me, after a few weeks into the internship program, was when she said ‘I would love to go to a school like this. I’m going to miss this place’.
Riya had an amazing time interacting with the little kids at REC. Being able to speak Telugu was a big advantage, and she immediately got comfortable with the kids. She would help them write the alphabet, correct their workbooks, and take the 1st graders to the round hut for singing phonics. She says she wants to come back to see how these kids grow up.
I have to mention the food. What a huge change from what we had when we were at RV! They have fresh dosa stations a couple of times a week, and the serve cutlets, paneer,koftas, appams, aloo parathas, pizza, pasta bake, pani puri, Bhelpuri, popcorn, mysore pak, gulab jamoon and much more. These are things we would only get once in a while , on moonlight dinner days, but now kids have it on a weekly basis! And the murku house, which I discovered on the last day at RV (would have enjoyed the snack more had I known earlier), what a luxury to have such fresh and delicious snacks supplied to the hostels.
The guest house caretakers were great and always ready to help if we needed anything. The views from the top of the Alumni guest house were simply gorgeous. Couldn’t have asked for a better place to do my morning yoga.
Before we knew it , it was time to leave. But I was glad that we had a wonderful time, and created some amazing memories. I am truly thankful to RiVAA for creating such an opportunity and to all the staff at RV who supported the internship program and made this possible.