We are VdM (at a distance): The Desai Family

The very best part of Villa di Maria is our people. Our community of families, faculty and staff is something to be proud of and something to hold onto during our school’s pandemic closure. In this series, We are VdM, we’ll highlight the energies, talents, humor and wisdom of some of our amazing people—and we’ll stay connected!

Today, we’ll meet Padmanabh, Roopa and Aditri Desai. The Desais joined VdM in 2018, and Aditri is currently a first-year in the Racks & Tubes Lower Elementary classroom.

Villa di Maria: Tell us a bit about your family.

Padmanabh: We are a family of three—Padmanabh, Roopa and Aditri (Adu, she goes to Racks & Tubes). We live in a beautiful neighborhood of Ellisville, MO.

Roopa: Me and Padmanabh grew up in India. Padmanabh‘s work brought us in United States in 2011. Adu was born in Illinois. Padmanabh‘s work kept taking us different places. Before coming  to St.Louis, we lived in Illinois and California. As a family, we love exploring places, traveling and cooking/baking. We also love going to farms to pick fruit and vegetables. One of the things we all miss since we moved to St. Louis is beautiful California beaches. Going to the beach almost every weekend was our go-to thing to do!

We love St.Louis. It’s a great place to bring up a family. Taking walks with Adu to the library through the trail is a favorite thing to do in summer. She has recently learned crochet and practicing almost everyday! She misses going to YMCA for her swim lessons and practice and is looking forward to some swim time in summer.

VdM: How did you find Montessori and what brought you to VdM?

Padmanabh: When we moved to St.Louis, Adu was almost 2 and we were in search of preschool for her. We heard about Montessori through someone in our extended family. From there on Roopa looked up and did quite a bit of research and the more we learnt about Montessori the more convincing it was for us. As parents, we liked a different style than traditional style of education. Hence, Adu started going to Montessori since she was about 25 months old.

Adu went to a different Montessori school before joining VdM. When we moved to Ellisville, we looked for other Montessori schools in nearby area and we found VdM. After a couple of tours, extensive discussions with Laura, we thought VdM would be the place for Adu. She joined VdM in P3 with Mrs. Steinman and last year Adu moved to Racks & Tubes with Ms. Sarah.

Roopa: We love getting lessons at parent-education meetings and are always amazed how concepts can be uniquely presented through Montessori materials.

VdM: What do you and your spouse do, career-wise?

Padmanabh: I work as a supply chain solution architect in one of the world’s biggest food/pet food companies based here in St. Louis. Roopa recently started her volunteer work at UMSL. Before coming to United States, she used to work in information & technology field and later she chose to a be a homemaker.

VdM: What is something your family is doing to make the most of this extended break?

Padmanabh: Trying hard not to lose it!!! But in all honesty, we (mainly Roopa and Adu) have been trying different things like arts & crafts, planting and besides Adu’s online school, we are baking or cooking a lot of different things and having fun.

Roopa: The extended break has given us a great opportunity to connect with our family back in India. Before this we used to talk only on weekends, we’ve been calling our families almost everyday now. Adu is having a great time talking, reading aloud and doing magic tricks with her grandparents. Also, we are watching a lot of baking/cooking shows and videos.

VdM: A question for Adu – If you could snap your fingers and go anywhere in the world for one day, where would you go, and why?

Adu: Of course India, because that is where my grandparents live and my cousins’ parents and cousins live.

Thank you, Padmanabh, Roopa and Adu! We are so happy to have you in the VdM community!

Photos courtesy of the Desai family.