SSE at Thousand Oaks
The following is a summary of the experiences of Group 1 kids Shreya, Riya, Avinash, Bharath, Rachna and Sanjana participating in the quarterly Nursing Home project. Our last meeting this year was a Service project, our quarterly presentation at the nursing home. Mrs Leslie Bouche had taught us a few fun songs. We arrived early on saturday June 9 and practiced at the parking lot. Our parents went to help the residents come out of their rooms to the recreation area. When we sang, many residents sang along with us. Some of them had oxygen support, most of them were in wheel chairs. Some of them were closing their eyes. We pray to Swami to help them. We pray to Swami to give us the strength to continue doing this. We are eager to learn more songs and be ready with a good performance for them in September.
Article by Abhishek Kodukulla, his experience at the retreat.
He is 12 years old.
His Message Is My Life
I attended the 2007 Sathya Sai Baba Conference held at Cottontail Ranch, in Malibu, California on May 11th – May 12th. My Mom and I went to the retreat on the first day to help set up the campsite. We returned on May 12th in the early morning. The day started off with devotees chanting a prayer to Lord Ganesha, after which, they recited the Sathya Sai Baba Suprabhaatam. I thoroughly enjoyed the chanting, especially the Baba Namastotram with English translations. This was followed by Nagarsankirtan, where devotees walked around the camp grounds twice, singing bhajans in praise of Sai Baba. It was very nice, as all the singers were fantastic! The bhajans calmed me down, gave me peace, and filled me with contentment.
After the bhajans, we had an hour’s break, where I met a few kids from other Balavikas centers. At 8 AM, breakfast was served, and all the kids enjoyed conversing and getting to know one another. After breakfast, the Masters of Ceremonies, Leslie and Bruce Bouche introduced the speakers for the day, Shyam and Sarojini Kanagala (I call them Shyam Uncle and Sarojini Aunty). After breakfast, we listened as they shared their experiences with Baba. I learned a lot from what they said, and learned how to further incorporate the human values that Baba teaches into my life.
We broke for lunch at 12:30. During lunch I had the opportunity to meet Madhavan Rajagopalan, a Young Adult coordinator from Texas. He sang a song (before the speeches) began that he had composed, and played along with it on the keyboard. The music was extremely melodious, and I thoroughly enjoyed his composition. After lunch, there was a Young Adult mystery surprise in which we played “Sai Baba Charades.” One person would act out a well known quote and the rest would guess what it was. It was great fun, and I enjoyed it a lot. After Charades, we split up into different groups to do different activities, based on the numbers on our nametags. The kids went for a nature hike, which I enjoyed very much. The scenery was beautiful, and I got some nice exercise.
Our activities came to an end at around 5:30 PM, after which we had dinner, and the kids played ping pong until Sunny Sampson, a wonderful singer, sang a few devotional songs about Baba and his teachings. It was a day filled with devotional speeches and other activities. I hope to retain all that I learned at the conference, and remember all the friends I made. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and encourage other kids to come, learn, and relax at the next conference.
Sai Ram, Abhishek K.