What A Load of Carp!

This last week we turned our attention to our fish tanks which were “ripe for the harvest.” To say that many of our children love eating fish would be a huge understatement, so when permission was given to catch all the fish out of the tank… three solid days of fishing followed.

Just some of Day Three’s haul.

The most dedicated was a team of girls and boys led by April and armed with a mosquito net turned fishing net. The group made their way around the edges of the tank catching any and every fish that dared show itself. Shrieks of “I’ve got one under my foot!” or “I caught one in my pocket!” echoed across the cool waters until well after dark.

April and her team taking a moment to have some fun with Dylan.

Team April with a winner!

“Aren’t you cold? It’s 9:00 pm and you’ve been in the water since lunchtime!” Priscilla asked April, standing on the bank. “Yes, but there are so many more fish to catch!” came the reply from somewhere in the dark below.

“I’ve got another one caught under my armpit!” shrieked Jessica excitedly. “I’ll get it”, called her sister Jimika. Swimming over happily, her excitement turned to horror as a huge snake, obviously enjoying the warmth below Jessica’s arm, lifted it’s head out of the water as it wrapped its long tail around her neck! “SNAAAAAAAAAKE!” the call went out across the pond and in under a minute the tank was empty of children, even April had to draw the line at snakes!

(Note: It was a harmless python, but still pretty shocking for Jessica!)

Jessica is on the far right, holding the mighty mosquito net!

Day two and everyone was back in the tank; even snakes would not keep them away from the promise of fish curry for dinner again! Jessica was one of the first in the pond, back with the same mosquito net ready for more! Fearless.

While others took to the standard “hook and line” method, or tickling fish from the holes in the banks, Clifton turned his attention to learning the local method of casting a net. After a few lessons from Kullu, one of our workers who is an adept fisherman, and a half-dozen bad throws, he began to look like a natural.

Clifton casting his net into the waters.

He had plenty of fish to back up his new found skills.

Sonia and Malika with some of day two’s catch.

Day three was the biggest day of all, starting a little before 9:00am and ending just after 6:00pm. A big net was set across the pond and all our kids, as well as local village children were encouraged to come, splash, play and scare the fish out of their minds and into our waiting arms!

Clifton pulling a big fish out of the net.

Anish brought in the biggest catch of the three day fishing derby with a huge carp, one of the largest we have ever had in our tank. It was a female, filled with eggs, so “local caviar” was also on the menu that evening.

Anish, skillfully holding balance after a huge throw.

Fisherman of the Week!

It was a truly awesome couple of days in the sun. It was also fun for the kids to see how, while they turned “black” (as they like to say) in the sun, Clifton’s pasty white skin turned red like a tomato! By the end of it all he was looking like some kind of superhero, though, we must say, “Sun-Burn Man” sounds more like a name for a villain!

A lot of happy fishermen (and women).

A great way to spend a couple of days.

You catch it, you clean it.


About the Author:

Clifton is the grandson of Maxton D. Strong the founder of The GSAM. In 2004 at 19 years old he moved out from Australia to India with his parents to continue on his grandfathers work. Today he is working as the Deputy Director of the orphanage and the Chairman of the Maxton Strong School. He is married to Priscilla, a former child of the mission and together they have 3 sons.

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