With a crew of seven from our group, we set off just up river from The Glass House where we had been for lunch two days earlier. Kirk was the first to brave the cold temperatures of the glacial meltwater and jumped into the river not two minutes after launching our raft. After a refreshing dip, he was back in the raft and we were off to our first set of rapids called “Three Blind Mice.” It was a blast! Everyone got absolutely soaked, but we think the guide was deliberately positioning Tom Petrillo for the brunt of it! In between laughing and splashing, we did a bit of paddling (thankfully we had a very competent guide to steer us clear of the rocks)! At one point we even got to bodysurf through some milder rapids. I don’t think that’s anything any of us were prepared to do in India – bodysurfing on the Ganges River! After a couple of joyful hours on the river we reluctantly landed the raft on the banks of the Ganges and boarded the bus back to Ananda. Exiting the raft we observed reality in India with rows of tinroof dwellings underneath a bridge. Quite the contrast to our rafting experience.
We met the rest of our group for lunch at Ananda and then enjoyed a more restful afternoon with spa services and relaxation.
Donning our white Ananda pyjamas, we spent time this evening talking and learning about Global Greengrants Fund from Catherine Porter, Chair of the Greengrants Board of Directors. This was a wonderful opportunity for the group to learn more about the Greengrants approach to philanthropy and what makes them and our partnership so unique. Catherine helped the group understand the power of small grants and how the Greengrants model is able to empower communities and give them a voice in the decisions that affect their natural resources and well-being. It was a wonderful way to spend our last night at Ananda.