Monday, January 31, 2011

and life goes on...

I've decided to keep writing on this blog, just for fun.  It's been a little weird being back in the country and in school with real work, but I've been keeping my self busy. I definitely miss India, but I am glad to be closer to family and friends. I'm not really sure what I'm going to write about yet, but probably things happening in my life that are important to me. Or just random stories.
Well, I am currently procrastinating and not reading for my 8am class tomorrow, but expect to hear from me soon!

In the meantime, it is supposed to snow A LOT tomorrow!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Slideshow from India

Last 10 days

Our last 10 days in Auroville were filled with gift and souvenir shopping, trips to Pondicherry, eating pizza from New Creation and ice cream from Richy Rich, packing, making pancakes at the program coordinator, Abbey's (newly remodeled) house, optional and required seminars and discussions, picture taking, our Farewell Dinner, spending time together, and finally our last teary dinner and good-bye before driving off to the airport.

Sunday night (December 19), we ate dinner with Abbey and our German friend, Friedhelm. We signed off the program and then talked about all the non-negotiable's we broke (we're not even allowed to dive), reminisced, sang a few songs, took back a natural object from home that we gave on our first day in India, and tried to hold back tears as we hugged our teachers, faculty, and two students behind. They were travelling for another month before leaving India. We pull away from Youth Camp at exactly 8:23 pm, then started the 2 1/2 hour journey to the Chennai airport.

We lost someone else at the airport, because he was staying in Chennai with friends for a few days before leaving. The airport was typical India, chaotic and unorganized. They couldn't even get me one of my boarding passes. One girl was leaving a couple hours later because she was going to travel through Europe, so they wouldn't let her through security. We were down to 8 of us.
Finally, we managed to get on our flight to Frankfurt. We were a little worried about what we would do once we got there because of all the weather problems that had been going on, but luckily all our flights left, even if some were an hour or two late. We had to split up in Frankfurt because we were leaving from different terminals and you have to go through security again to get to your gate. So I said goodbye to three more people, and 5 of us made our way to our gates. I had some trouble getting my second boarding pass because of a flight leaving for Tel Aviv from my gate, but I was finally able to do that. I flew to Boston with two other people from my group, and then said tired good-byes to them before my cousin Kim picked me up to take me back to her house in New Hampshire where I was going for Christmas. As I pull into her driveway, I looked at the clock and realized it was 8:23pm of Monday! So after 34 1/2 hours of travelling and very little sleep, I made it. And the next day the Frankfurt airport closed.

The End.

Community Stay - Solitude Farm

I’m finally getting around to finishing this. I’m back in the good ol’ US of A and had a good Christmas and New Year, but more on the later. 
Krishna, in the front right, who owns the farm, and Khaled in the middle, who lives there permanently
 After we got back from traveling, I did a community stay at Solitude Farm for 10 days. (check out their blog -  I was the only one from my group that chose to go there, which was a little hard at first. I stayed in the dormitory with three other women, and the cow below us.
It was also still monsoon season, which meant the fields kept flooding. We tried to do some planting and prepare beds, but mostly our work was useless because it would be ruined as soon as it rained. So we spent a lot of time in the community kitchen reading, making friendship bracelets, sleeping, playing music, and being bored. We also made several trips to the closest cafe for coffee and ice cream, of course.
the capsule I stayed in with 3 other women
Four people from my group were staying and a large forest community called Sadhana Forrest.  Short-term quests stay in large dorms, and they get really muddy in the rainy season. The combination of close living quarters, never getting dry and questionable hygiene led to about half of the 80 people there getting sick. Two of them were from my group, so they decided it was time to leave and ended up coming to Solitude (the other 2 didn’t get sick, but they also left and went to another community).  Halfway through our stay, we got together with the group and made pizza from scratch - dough, sauce, everything. We sand songs and ate and had a good time. Now that we didn’t have to be around each other, we wanted to! 
working in the fields
The rest of my stay at Solitude was fun - swimming in the well, climbing up the windmill, and getting to know some awesome people! Oh, and they’re putting on a music festival January 29th, so if you happen to be in the Auroville area, you should check it out!
swimming in the well our first week during orientation
other people in the well