“So while you are young you must begin to find out, what is this strange thing called happiness. That is an essential part to education.”  Jiddo Krishnamurti

Jiddo Krishnamurti is an Indian philosopher whose teachings were spread globally while he set up schools in Varanasi based on his vision of  empower communities through education.  We are following Jiddo Kirishnamurti’s footsteps to empower the communities we are working with through education.

Settled in Varanasi

With a house to live in and a weekly timetable of lessons, Varanasi is beginning to feel like home. We spend our days cycling our rickety hired bikes to Duniya, Jeevan and Asha Deep. After a day of workshops we  share the duty of cooking dinner before our daily meeting.  As we cycle down the street, even on our days off, children yell our names or “PWB after us”.  Their excited waves and glowing smiles warm our hearts as we wave back. This feeling brings me such joy as we begin to feel a part of the local neighbourhood. The students in all the schools are eager to learn and grateful for their new performance talents. The smiles on their faces when we pass them on the street shows the happiness that education brings.


Dunyia and Jeevan- Human Pryamids! Supporting one another in Sickness and in Health

This week at Duniya and Jeevan we were excited to teach workshops in new skills that we had not yet taught on the tour! Acro, Juggling and Drama.  Some of the children got three balls in juggling after a half hour session! Others even learnt some contact balls tricks! The children loved creating shapes and pyramids in the acro workshops. It was great to facilitate workshops without props, a change for both us and the students!



Through learning acro you learn how to trust and support one another. The flyer needs to trust their base and the base needs to support their flyer.  Everybody involved in the position needs to trust and support one another.  This week two of the team members were sick, a difficulty India and Varanasi brings us. As a team we had to support one another, teaching each others lessons and organising each others acts at Asha Deep. Those who were sick had to trust that they were going to get better and that we were able to continue their work without them.

Show Choreography and Fire at Asha Deep

At Asha Deep the show was beginning to take shape as we started to choreograph our assigned acts:

Poppy on Fabric Fans.

Sophie on Fire Fans and Fire Hoop.

Kiera on Day and Fire Hoop.

Livi on Clubs.

Xander on Poi.

Jules on Staff.

And Daniel on Contact Ball.

The beginning of the week got off to a slow start. On Monday, I arrived to Asha Deep to a group of girls running towards me shouting happy kiss day. They all hugged and kissed me. I hugged them back and replied that I liked this day.  Although many of the children were missing the love and happiness they gave us made up for the sudden change of plans we had to make to our workshop. It was a joy to celebrate Shivaratri with the students and experience the festival in Varanasi.

Despite the illness and festival celebrations, Kiera and Poppy directed choreography for the fabric fans and day hoop act.   A dance in front of a group of students singing Mein Kaun Hoon, an indian song about the identity struggle of a teenage girl in India with a passion for singing.



The fire acts were also well on the way! The fire hoop and fire fan choreography was ready for the moves to be practiced on fire by Friday.  For many of them this was their first time spinning. With a few screeches and a lot of smiles the group where excited to show off their new tricks on fire.  The staff and poi groups also got to spin despite Xander and Jules been ill, demonstrating the students drive and passion for their performance.

We returned to the school on Saturday for a full show run through. We were blown away by the students other performances. The programme was full of beautiful indian dancing and impressive modern dance from both the older and early years. I love the passion these students have for performance and the happiness that this brings to the school. We are blessed to be such a vital a part of the schools programme.




Happy Kiss Day to all of you! Keep spreading the love and happiness.

Poppy Avison-Fell 

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