KellyLehmann's Travel Journals


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  • 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.

Yeah I did yoga in India. In the forest.

India Auroville, India  |  Dec 30, 2010
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Most of you back home know that I'm not big into yoga. I have to say, after a good 45 minute session the other morning, I was feeling pretty damn good. Waking up my body, waking up my mind.

So. A lot of things have happened. I thought I saved a whole big draft here but I suppose I didn't. Aw shucks. A typical day at Sadhana looks like this:

At about 4:30 am, the temples in the surrounding villages begin to play music on the loudspeakers. During the first week, I was feeling very transported by the music: it took me back to my first trip in India where I also slept in a cot and awoke very early, dark outside early. This morning was the first morning I was ready for that noise to stop. I've been here for a week and the novelty of the place has worn off now. I miss my home. 

Anyways. Get up. Maybe brush your furry teeth with some brown tooth powder, which is comprised of Turmeric, salt and other herbs. But I don't usually brush my teeth right when I wake up. I like em furry. With sweaters on. syke. 

Once you rinse yourself, put on some new panties and swig down the morning meds (completely unnecessary as their has been no malaria case here for 10 years), you join the morning circle at 6:15. Singing, stretching. and HUGS! Now off to work in the forest. The forest is 70 acres and the indigenous tree seedlings are all growing with the help of bunds, damns and swales. There is a nonindigenous tree they've planted, the australian acacia, to nourish the baby forest and the community. It's leaves are used for mulch, it is nitrogen-fixing, and it's roots are shallow so it falls down and is used for firewood during the monsoon season. In the forest we pass dirt, pat down dirt, dig dirt and generally get dirtly/clay-y/muddy. 

Vegan breakfast. Fruit and porridge with jaggery, a natural sweetener. The floors here are all made out of bamboo, and if you're early to meals you can snag a cushion to sit on for the poor bumsicle. They use metal plates and silverware for these meals, and when you finish, you compost your raw stuff, your citrus stuff and your cooked stuff in different bins. Then you clean with steel wool, ash, water and vinegar. 

For the Living Routers, we return to our hut after breakfast to work on different projects for Sadhana Forest. Courtney and Betty and I (Woo Woo!) are working on fundraising for India and getting long-term volunteers for Haiti. It is hard to see progress in our project because we're not sure what's coming in from our efforts, but we are working on infrastructure and some quick fix stuff too. Skype here, email there, fiddle diddle on the computer, lunch time. 

(Right now I'm watching my roommate crochet strips of plastic bag together to make hacky sacks for Children's Land here)

So that's the first half of the day and I'll write more later. 

This one's for the homies, 


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