The Last Day of School

At Baan Unrak School, we celebrated the end of the academic year with a special day.

THE CHILDREN’S SHOW

The children performed traditional Thai dances, Karen dances and modern dances, together with acting performances and singing. All introduced by a child host.

And then…

CELEBRATION!

Congratulations Grade 6!

Completing grade 6 marks the end of intermediate school. The closing of a chapter in their life, and the beginning of a new one.

Congratulations Grade 9!

Similarly, grade 9 marks the end of lower secondary education, that is, the completion of compulsory education according to the Thai school system. Most of them will continue study, but for now…

CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE!

Afterwards…

REFRESHMENT!

And more photos taken!

And more activities…

And more games!

Now…

Let the holidays begin!

A weekend for knowledge

Last weekend some guests came to visit us, they are very special people.

They are a part of the project “seeds for the future”, that wants to share and diffuse skills and tools to live in harmony with nature, taking advantage of what nature offers us.

The children formed groups according to their interests.

In each group there was a different activity to learn…

But, before the activities began, every child had to draw who he/she is; because the children are the “seeds of the future” too.

The activities were very interesting: some children learned how to make the real Italian pizza

Then there were:

The burn cream lab, that is very good also for the dirty wounds because of its disinfectant properties.

The cough syrups lab, so good for the seasonal flus.

The natural soap lab: olive oil was the main ingredient, but we had to be careful because we used a lot of different powders.

The shampoo lab, were we made 3 different types of shampoo: for making hair stronger and shiny, to speed up hair growth and to cover white hair.

The mosquito repellent lab: to be ready for the rainy season.

The medicine for the fever lab: that is a mix of minced leaves to be taken in capsules.

And the last one, the agriculture lab: to learn how make natural fertilizer to grow our plants better.

We are very happy about the knowledge that we have learned, we will treasure this lessons!!

THANK YOU “SEEDS FOR THE FUTURE”!

Congratulations! Our Girls’ Graduation

Our girls Chemusa, Dipti and Anipho have just graduated from high school!

Unbounded joy infused this morning of celebration

Congratulations Chemusa!

Congratulations Dipti!

Congratulations Anipho!

More children from Baan Unrak came to celebrate! One day, it will also be their turn to graduate!

Also the daughter of Pa Muno, Ishvari’s caregiver, graduated on this special day.

More children graduated today, who were helped by Baan Unrak in the past. Even though they don’t stay at our Home anymore, they are still and always grateful, and they showed it to Didi today!

Chemusa wishes to continue study and go to university. She will study English for Business Communication.

Anipho also wishes to continue study. She will study English for Tourism. Her dream is to become a tourist guide.

Dipti will also go to university. She will study Social Sciences. She wants to become a social worker.

Good Luck!

A New Playground Full of Wonders

A new playground has taken shape in the Home of Joy.
It has been envisioned for little Ishvari
, affected by cerebral palsy,
for her to learn movement and do physiotherapy.

Let’s try it out Ishi!

But first… Let’s put the right gear on!

Finally…

THE THRILL OF WALKING!

Her little friends are here to cheer her up!

Thanks to this ingenious tool… Ishvari can finally walk by herself!

Back and forth, back and forth… seemingly tireless with excitement!

To be able to stay erect and move ahead, it’s a great feeling!

And she walks, she walks!

She follows the metal bars around and under the concrete ramp.
It’s a new magical space, full of color and light.

Rainbows on the walls and on the floor. The whole place is filled with magic!

VISUAL DELIGHT

We even painted The Starry Night!

Do you recognize it?! It’s a treasured artwork by Van Gogh!

SAND EXPERIENCE

The sandpit is Ishvari’s favorite spot. She spends hours in it everyday!
We are so glad that we discovered it.

Here she can do a lot of exercise by herself, moving around, moving things around, experimenting with the sand… holding it in her hands and throwing it away, dipping her hands in it and crawling.

These are amazing tools for her to learn movements.
Of course, the other children enjoy it too!

Today, she invited her little friends to play…

SPLASHING WATER!

What a mess they make…!

But it doesn’t matter…

We are all having fun!

The pool is a fantastic tool for Ishvari to experiment with water.

Who’s the captain of the boat?!

ISHI IS THE CAPTAIN!

However, we need a bigger pool! …for her to crawl and walk in it.

For now, she can play with the water, pouring it, throwing it out… learning new movements.

Still a work in progress…

We want her to master the 5 elements.

In the sandpit she experiences the Solid; in the water pool the Liquid factor;
the whole place is naturally lit, receiving the beneficial effects of sun Light.
We are currently working on a special swing, for her to conquer the Air!
Next, comes the Space

… This dreamy playground is not finished yet.
We didn’t cover the expenses of building it either…

Would you give us a hand?

You can Help us clicking here.

This new playground is both a dream come true and a necessity
to improve Ishvari’s quality of life
through physical therapy.

Inner Harmony through Yoga

Along with singing and meditating on Infinite Love,
we practice Asanas – yoga postures – every day.

Here, Tree pose ( Vrikshasana ) at the nursery!

Why we practice Yoga every day?

Because…

Our Life experience comes from within:
it depends entirely on the emotions we Feel!

So,
the quality of our emotions
determines the quality of our Life!

And,
as you might know…

Our emotions are produced by hormones,
which are secreted by the endocrine glands in our body.

Hence,
The practice of yoga postures
regulates and balances the hormone secretion of those
glands.

The goal is to achieve emotional balance,
in order to find inner peace.

Lotus posture ( Padmasana )

When we find inner peace,
we become unshakable by external circumstances
(no matter how challenging they might seem)
and, ultimately, ever-blissful!!!

This is why we love to practice Yoga!

Here, our International Yoga Day show at the Pagoda.

Below, our daily yoga practice:
after morning meditation, and before evening meditation.

Here’s the Mother of yoga postures, Shoulder Stand ( Sarvangasana )

…And its counterpose, Fish posture ( Matsyamudra )

We open our hearts in Wheel posture ( Chakrasana )

Take flight with the Lord of the Dance posture ( Natarajasana )

Get rid of all fears and build self-confidence in Peacock posture ( Mayurasana )

Asana means:
“a posture giving physical comfort and mental composure.”

Bow posture ( Dhanurasana )

Plow posture ( Halasana )

Shiva posture ( Shivasana )

And much, much more…

Challenges are never-ending!

Every day we push our limits a little further…

Cock posture ( Kukkutasana )

Bound Lotus posture ( Baddha Padmasana )

Let’s surrender into the posture…

Difficult Tortoise posture ( Utkata Kurmakasana )

Let’s practice Yoga with an effortless flow
of devotion
to the caretaker of this Universe!

…Beyond balancing the hormone secretions from the glands, Asanas give flexibility to the body, improve respiration as well as blood and lymph circulation, massage the internal organs, relax the nerves and muscles, detoxify the body, even cure and prevent diseases.

Feeling Infinite Love

A pillar of our daily routine is singing together
” Baba Nam Kevalam ” .
It means:
Love is the essence of everything.

While singing it, we really try to
Feel the Love vibration all around us,
trying to Dissolve in it.

We sing it with folded hands
or, even better,
raising our arms up to the sky!

Love is all there is.

Then,
we meditate,

on that all-pervading…

Infinite Love.

We are not only a part of it,
but One with it.

Like a wave is One with the sea.

Love exists within everyone and everything,
Like seawater exists within the wave.

It is the essence of existence,
the source of all things,
the core of our being.

And we can know it,
through the regular and sincere practice of
meditation.

It’s about finding the essence of ourselves within ourselves,
and realizing that Infinite Love is the inner Self
of all beings and the entire universe.

Just as a river flows into the sea
We are all returning Home.

 

If you are interested in learning more,
Write us at our email!
baanunrak@gmail.com

Girls at the river

Our need for water bring us to go to the river to do some simple activities like washing our clothes or taking a bath, but we also play a lot!

Every time it’s a good time to have fun and to enjoy the little things that nature offers to us.

Having the possibility to wash our clothes at the river makes the girls independent and responsible.

Each of them had to do their own things, but if someone sometimes need help, there is a lot of availability.

However, after the work, we have lot of time to have fun and play together and with the natural elements…

…to be aware and connected in every moment.

Also for Ishvari it’s a special moment, she loves to play in the water!

A Day in our Life during our Second Lockdown

Early Morning around the Fire

Chanting and meditating together…

Losing Ourselves in Love

Now, we are ready for a Big Day!

At Work in the Garden

Studying Outdoor

…With the help of our grownup children, now university students, who came back Home during the lockdown.

Taking Care of the Dogs

Making Healthy Natural Juices

Wheatgrass juice, and White Yam juice (in Thai, “Mankæw”).

Learn more about all the healthy juices we have been making, here.

 

To Be Continued

Stay tuned, for the next article!

Making Tempeh Dishes

We are happy that Dada is with us. During the past week, he taught us how to make a traditional Indonesian food, Tempeh. We prepared it and created some delicious dishes with it.

Our vegetarian Bakery and Restaurant is a great vocational training center for our children, so they went to learn the whole Tempeh process.

The Preparation

First, we need beans. Traditionally soy beans, but Tempeh can actually be made with any kind of beans: black beans, red beans or even chickpeas.
We selected only the good ones, taking out the spoiled ones.

Wash and soak the soy beans in water overnight. The beans will expand and will get the right PH for the growth of the Tempeh culture.
After this time, wash again until the water becomes clear.

Boil the beans for maximum 1 hour.
Dry them on a strainer, using a fan to accelerate the process.

Once dried, put the beans in a bowl and add the Tempeh starter: 1 teaspoon of Rhizopus Oligosporus – a bacteria which ferment the beans to become Tempeh.

In order for the bacteria to grow, proper ventilation is needed, so we put the beans into zipped – and reusable – plastic bags with holes.

So, first… make the holes!

Then, pack it!
We tried our best not to touch the beans with our hands, to make good quality Tempeh. Once packed, we pressed with our hands.

Then, keep it in a place with good ventilation, room temperature 25° C.
Here, we put it inside an old oven on a metal mesh, to allow the air to flow through the bags, letting the bacteria grow.

2 DAYS LATER…

DONE!

Now, we can cook!

TEMPEH DISHES

We prepared special rice, Indonesian Style (flavored with leaves):
– compressed in a cylinder form, wrapped in a banana leaf, called Lontong.

– in a diamond-shaped, woven palm leaf pouch, called Ketupat.

The children took notes of the whole process, to make it again by themselves next time.

Here… Tempeh skewers! With a delicious peanut sauce.

And… DONE!

Another day, new dishes! And… new looks!

Here, a delicious green curry with boiled Tempeh and green eggplants,
together with fried Tempeh with basil leaves.

Another day we prepared a healthy and fresh salad with roasted Tempeh.

…And a fragrant yellow rice with coconut milk and turmeric, lemongrass, cinnamon and kaffir lime, called Nasi Kuning.

…To eat together with a sweet and spicy fried Tempeh.

We also dried the Tempeh and blended it to make a powder.

It became a great and healthy Tempeh topping to flavor any dish, rice or even pasta!

Then, we mixed the Tempeh powder with flour, and this will work as a new Tempeh starter!

Here it is, our new Tempeh starter for future productions.

We even made a smoothie with raw Tempeh, fruit and honey!

ENJOY TEMPEH!

Welcoming the New Year

Welcoming the New Year at Baan Unrak has been, as usual, full of wonder.
Here’s  a photo diary.

December 31, 2020

At the Home we were all busy with the preparation. On special occasions like this, our collective spaces are transformed into something unique, always different!

Here, we were decorating the dining hall!

Meanwhile, Dada was teaching guitar to some children to lead the kiirtan.

Also the smaller children are eager to learn guitar.

In the afternoon we went to Songkaria river, to refresh ourselves with a splash!
And… for the last shampooing of the year!

Back home, catching the wind in the back of the pickup truck.

In the night, we had a Pizza Party!

Then… all to bed early!
With a lot of anticipation for the Big Day to come.

January 1, 2021

Chanting the universal mantra, Baba Nam Kevalam, Love is All.

In the afternoon we had another incredibly powerful Kiirtan.

The vibration of Bliss was so great, so intense and all-pervading, that for some was irresistible, overwhelming. Here, some children fell into a state of deep meditation.

In between these blissful moments, after lunch we had…

PRESENTS!

Happy New Year 2021!