“The community of the splitting apples”
I interviewed Brooke six months ago. Ever since this portion of the interview has always sat in my head. The story of splitting apples, the beauty of community, the fact that life is better shared and as a part of something bigger than ourselves. In the time since this interview, my sister, my boys and I have traveled to Nepal, visited Archale and experienced first hand a communities wonderful generosity. I also see it everywhere I look, I see it in Lancaster, in Annapolis, in my friends, my family, the random people I meet on my travels.
So as I chase a simpler life filled with community, a place where we are all equal, as I navigate down the windy road of life I wanted to say thank you to all of you for making my life so much better. As I sit here on Christmas Eve, listening to the rain fall gently on my roof I am extremely grateful to have you all in my life, I am excited by the next turn in the road and I am tremendously hopeful that we the people will make our world a wonderful place.
I think the portion of the interview below talks way better than I will ever be able to about community, I hope you enjoy,
Happy Christmas and here is to a wonderful 2013,
Below is a continuation of an interview I did with Brooke Laura, founder of Saprinu. Saprinu is an Nepali educational organisation that has a school in Archale, Nepal. Tellus360 is tremendously proud to be a supporter of Saprinu.
What is the meaning of Saprinu?
Saprinu means to flourish Saprinu means to flourish (said twice and with real heart). The whole idea was we really just want to enable not only the individual but the community as a whole to flourish. You know the belief when individuals are strong and capable they are going to contribute to their entire village. When things are going to bloom they are going to prosper, they’re going to flourish. You build up an individual you build up a community. Better education! Better communities! Better Nepal.
Define community for me?
I think community is the place where you live. It encompasses everything, it’s your support and it’s your family. It is all about community, it’s everyone working together to uplift themselves. I guess it’s working together, community is working together.
I remember a couple of stories that probably explain it better than I can. I remember hiking out of the village, out of Archale, and it must have been the start of planting season. I was hiking down and seeing one of the family’s fields and there are five women planting the rice seeds. I thought that’s interesting. You know that’s interesting there are five women there planting this one rice field but it is just this one family’s land. And I just continued seeing that.
I finally asked a friend from the village how does this work? These women, do they pay them or what do they do? He laughed at me and said no these groups of women are friends. He stopped there assuming that was answer enough but when he picked up that I still was not understanding what he was saying he went on. They just go from one family plot of land to the next family’s plot of land and work together. Its better that way, work together, enjoy each other.
So I began to understand and everywhere I look I see it. There is no separation; I would never feed myself before I would feed you. We are one and together and respectful of each other. This is just the mentality of the people of Archale and the people of Nepal in general.
Another day I had an apple and I cut it in half and gave it to two little kids, two of our students, that happened to be near to me or it might have been four students and I cut it in quarters and I gave each student a piece of the apple. I mean it wasn’t even a whole apple but they took that and as other students started to come around they started to divide it up further.
So maybe 20 kids ended up coming around and they took this apple and they kept dividing it up into smaller and smaller pieces. (Brooke is laughing now remembering fondly the memory) They made sure that every kid had a bite when they could have just made the choice to pop them into their mouth. But they didn’t, they are breaking it apart with their fingers and giving it out, they are making sure everyone is treated fair whether they are big or small, where there first or last.
This doesn’t just happen one time this happens all the time. It is ingrained in all the children here from the start that you just share, you help others when they are in need and we are a community. We work together and we look out for our brother and our sister.
Even when I think of how our students communicate with one another, it is not this is my friend or this is my neighbor or this is you know someone who lives in the village. They say this is my brother, this is my sister, this is my uncle, and this is my aunt when in fact it is not. But that’s how they look at all these relationships. You are my brother. I am your sister. We are the community of the splitting apples.