16 Jan, 2011 – Sunday

Elephant at a temple in Pondicherry

We made it through our first week of classes and service learning!  We have now been here for just over two weeks, and it’s starting to feel like home. Even the driving doesn’t make me nervous anymore, and that is something that one really should feel nervous about. My schedule for the past week has been a little irregular compared to some other people, because I’m not working at my service learning position every day. On the days I do work there I work from 6:30-9:30 instead of 9-12 like everybody else in my group. Priya, the person running Buddha Garden, prefers to work in the morning when it is still cool outside. Additionally, the project I am doing for them is organizing and developing signs for an educational farm walk around Buddha Garden, which requires computer work, not garden work. I am working there a couple of days a week just to get familiar with the place and get my hands dirty. So week schedule:

6:15-7:45         Yoga on Monday and Wednesday

6:30-9:00        1 – 2 days a week working in the garden at Buddha Garden

8:00                  Breakfast

9:00-12:00

M – CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) through Food Link

T/W/Th – Working on Buddha Garden Signs

Sat – International Pavilion, where half of our group is staying, doing

gardening/building a shower using recycled fuel lines filled with cement  as

the building structure

12:00                Lunch at Solar Kitchen

2:00-4:00

M/W – Sustainability taught by many different people around Auroville

T/Th – Nature, Spirit and Political Theory

4:00-6:00       Work (for Yogalife) when the internet is working

6:00                 Dinner

Surfing Lessons!

In the middle of all of that we have Tamil lessons, other events like movies, outings, meditating in the Matrimandir and now on Fridays: SURFING!!!!  Wohooooo! I went surfing for the first time yesterday and it was awesome. A group of us went and had an amazing time. It’s only 650 rupees, which is like $12 or so for an hour and a half. You really can’t beat that.

Cool beetle at Pebble Garden

I suppose I should get some homework done… I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed with everything. This last week has been a lot of planning and trying to figure out a project to do for Buddha Garden that will meet my Capstone requirements, meetings with supervisors and the group, figuring out where places are, and logistical stuff. Now that we’ve gotten a lot of that figured out its time to actually do the work. Unfortunately, we don’t really get any free days so things have to be squeezed in whenever there is time, which can be difficult. We have at least one thing planned every day that takes up several hours of the day. I thought we would have the weekends to ourselves, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Also, it’s almost impossible to stay awake past 9:30 here! I figured I’d just stay up late and read, but that simply doesn’t work. I can’t even manage to stay up to watch a movie and I’m certainly not alone in this. Most of the people staying in the Tibetan Pavilion are in bed by 9, and asleep by 10. I think I’ll just have to start waking up earlier since the music for Pongal goes off at 5am anyways 🙂

Next week we are taking a trip to Tiruvannamalai, which is one of the temples we will visit while here. It will be fun to get out of the city and see some real India. Auroville is pretty sheltered and westernized. Ok, now I’m off to read about Christianity and Ecology and hopefully get a good enough internet connection to put this post up!

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About Heather

I am passionate about good food, environmental sustainability, and living life to its fullest. I am a recent graduate of the Program on the Environment at UW in Seattle. During winter quarter my senior year I traveled to Auroville, India, and Thailand to do my senior project and also for fun. This blog is serving as a way to document my experiences with travel, the outdoors, and growing things. Additionally, I love cooking and am just getting into gluten free baking so I will share my kitchen experiments with you as well!
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