Friday, April 17, 2015

School Field Trip: Hare Krishna Temple and Hee Haw Farms

This year, second graders have been learning about foreign countries, cultures and religions. India was one of them. For the first stop on their field trip we visited the Lotus Hare Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, UT. 

There is a Hindu temple a mile from my house so I assumed that is the one we would be visiting, but for some reason they chose to go to one 45 mins away. 

The Lotus temple sits on top of a hill outside of town. There are a few people who live on the property and take care of it. They are totally self sufficient from the animals and farm they maintain as part of their stewardship.

The Hare Krishna we met are vegetarian (not vegan). The animals they have on their farm are there as a source of revenue (wool from lamas, feathers from peacocks) not nourishment.

While we were there we were allowed to walk and feed their lamas, and later on some of the kids got to have a race to see which lama would be the first to reach the top of the hill where we were standing.

It was a funny sight. By looking at the photo you'd think that the white lama on the far right would win, but it wasn't so. Just after I snapped the photo he decided to stop and relieve himself, making him the last one to finish the race. The winner was in fact the brown lama second from the left.

Another way the Lotus temple raises funds each year is through the Festival of Colors, a two day event commemorating the victory of spring over winter. This year the event was at the end of March. There were over 70,000 people there celebrating. If you notice the dirt on the photo of with the elephant statue is still purple.

Another animal at the farm is the Zebu, a cattle breed imported from India characterized by its small size and a hump on its shoulders. The Lotus temple is also a bird refuge for several parrots and has several beautiful birds including a white peacock.

In order to enter the temple we all had to remove our shoes. Once inside we traveled upstairs where their meet for worship and yoga. The room was decorated with beautiful chandeliers, paintings of Hare (God) and other statues. In there center of the room are four very large rugs for everyone to sit.

Our guide explained to us the similarities between Hare Krishna believes and Christianity. She spoke about Karma, reincarnation and meditation. At the end of the presentation the current priest, a young man from Nepal, performed a drummed chant, where he stated the Hare Krishna prayer and everyone repeated after him, and taught us all some yoga.

Hee Haw Farms in Pleasant Grove was a fun place for the kids. They got to pet the animals, they learned some fun facts about cows and about growing things from seeds.

Did you know that a milking cow drinks between 40-60 gallons of water per day? And that it produces up to 8 gallons of milk?

They had several baby chicks, ducklings and bunnies for the kids to hold. The bunnies were the most popular with the kids. When Emilia finally got her turn to hold one the little bunny started climbing up her shoulder. It totally freaked Emilia out. She let me take a picture of it as soon as it got back in her hands but she was happy to get rid of it as soon as I took the photo.

The weather started to change once we got there. There was a lot of wind and because of it a lot of dirt in the air. We couldn't breathe well, and we could hardly see even with glasses on. So we spent a lot of time in sheltered areas like the corn box and the baby animals petting barn.

There were times when the wind died down a bit and the kids went down a huge slide and on a hay ride across the property. Emilia loved the corn box, a wood box filled with corn instead of sand. The baby goats were my favorite.

I am so glad I got to go with her this year!