My mind wouldn’t stop. It was full of ideas and they all ran into each other. I would lie awake in the early hours of the morning and think, scheme, dream and plan.
There were rosters with names and what people could do. Rosters for Sundays, for mid-week meetings, prayer meetings and for the trainees cooking, leading and cleaning duties. It was never ending.
I had a dream to have a domestic training course for ladies so they could get better jobs. I wanted to teach them how to cook, bake and run a household. I wanted to call it “Excellent Ayah’s Training School.” I wrote out a whole curriculum for that course. Other things took priority over this dream, so it all stayed in my notebook.
I started writing a booklet called, “Goal Oriented Parenting,” which I wanted to get translated into Hindi. I kept putting the book off, but I was able to use the notes to teach on parenting. I spent hours planning our times with married couples too.
My burden for the students at Woodstock kept me awake. I wrote out pages of notes on “Mating and Dating,” and enjoyed sharing those things with them.
I woke up in the early hours one morning, with the phrase, “We agree to supersede this generation.” Then two words: Super Seeds. I thought it was a good name for a children’s playgroup. When I woke up I created a letterhead. It stayed in my file for a long time.
If our community was facing a problem I would brainstorm until it was solved.
Sometimes I would lie awake and invent things. If I had known how to patent my wild ideas, I might have become quite famous.
We were constantly running out of water and there were power cuts almost every day. Fortunately we had gas to cook on, but it was hard to do anything once the sun went down. I was better with no electricity than I was without water.
Ironically, during a typically heavy monsoon, we had no water. There were 15 of us sharing one tank and it was empty. We tried to keep the lid open but it was narrow and didn’t let much rain in. The trainees sat around for hours, complaining about not having water. When the rain subsided a bit I went onto the roof. Water had collected in the corner and it was gushing over the gutter and onto the road below our house. I went downstairs and got some plastic soft drink bottles, string, tape and a sharp knife. I called the trainees up and started “bossing” them around. I got them cutting the bottles in half and taping them up. We had to tie part of it to a nearby tree to get some support. Before we knew it, we had made a pipe running from the roof and back onto our open courtyard on the ground floor. We sat and waited for the rain.
When it came, it bucketed down. Our homemade pipe held up and we had gallons of water gushing out right on our doorstep. There was so much shouting and laughing. Someone got the soap and shampoo and we all had a shower (fully clothed). We filled up all our buckets and cooking pots. When we had done all that, we took full advantage of the free water. We danced in our homemade waterfall like only Indians could.
The next day, I spent time with the trainees. I asked them what lesson they had learnt. I talked about how, into their future, they may not have anything. They may find themselves with no water or shelter or work. Would they just sit around and complain or would they do something about it? Would they look at their situation or would they look for a solution? Would they be a pain or would they make a plan?
It was important for us all to learn how to make the best of a bad situation. Sitting around praying for water wasn’t the answer. Using our brains, coming up with an idea and a creative plan was what worked. It wasn’t difficult; we just had to get off our butts.