KellyLehmann's Travel Journals

KellyLehmann

 
What is the best ethnic food you ever had that you just can't find at home?

Good authentic chai

  • 30 years old
  • From Illinois, United States
  • Currently in Auroville, India

India! What's up!

Please enjoy my serious musings about Sadhana Forest in Tamil Nadu, India. The program is a three-week long study abroad in an ecovillage, where I will live and study reforestation practices and earth-friendly living.

First day: today.

India Auroville, India  |  Dec 28, 2010
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Hey hey hey. Me again. Today was our first real day of stuff. Last night, I slept pretty well until I had to get up for a midnight pee. After that, I did not get back to sleep, at least not for very long. New York may be the city that never sleeps, India is the country that never sleeps. Even when we flew in to Chennai and arrived at 2:30 am, even when we sat next to the taxi car waiting for others to arrive, even as we drove in the early morning darkness to the forest, India was hopping.

So today we discussed the relevance of economic equality in different countries. The topic of today was equality. And what is equality? As the gap between the richest 20% and the poorest 20% expands or collapses, what happens? Japan exhibits some indicators of well-being that far surpass countries like the United States, like life expectancy. Japan has a smaller gap than the U.S. Having just researched Iceland, Iceland also has one of the highest life expectancies and has an unemployment rate of less than 1%. So clearly, we’ve gotta change our GDP to measure the Gini coefficient, or the number that represents the size of that gap, in order to depict growth in our society. Growth towards economic equality equals growth towards equality in general.

Equality in general. Who cares? Well apparently we care, since it is connected to how long we live etc. We have to wanna live that long in order to live that long, right? Of course, there are other indicators. I’m just going with life expectancy as an example. And we all want to be somewhere where we can be heard, recognized, encouraged, and have our basic necessities and other goodies.

Here’s to an awesome shower I took this morning. Shower: a large slab of stone on the ground upon which you stand and poor warm water from a bucket onto your naked body in order to cleanse oneself. The best part about this shower was the water! It was warm! ROCKIN. This of course is impossible in the U.S. in Colorado. Colorado and India both get cold in the evening. I took my shower in the morning… the water would have cooled during the night right? It is from a well, so the ground temperature didn’t change that much overnight. Hence, water warm. In Colorado you’ve got a far chillier winter. Warm well water wouldn’t exist in Colorado during these cold months. Just be dirty all winter? Sure. I don’t shave my legs in the winter-time anyway. I also currently use a shower in Colorado that has a water heater… 

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