andreav's Travel Journals


  • Currently in Auroville, India

India, Spring 2011

A journal about my seventh return to this land called "India"; in an attempt to describe this "inter-vidual" experience with two other faculty, many students, and the time we share in an integrated living, being and learning semester.

Hamsa Farm

India Auroville, India  |  Apr 07, 2011
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John was a Living Routes student. I think that is what makes the connection with the program so special. He was so interested in Auroville, that he came back to do his final thesis here, and stayed longer than expected. A lot longer. Along the way he fell in love with his now wife, Sweta. They are about to have their first child next month. Hamsa farm is about five acres, located about 20 minutes from Bangalore. Its a beautiful sanctuary of mango trees, diverse gardens, and fields which are now being cultivated, for the first time. John is really determined to cultivate a climate of organics in his area, already convincing the local farmers who help him alternative ways of growing, without chemicals. They help him with the tilling from their two cows, and he helps them understand another way of cultivation. All and all, a pretty good exchange. When we arrived, the evenings were still cool. Bangalore is about 1,000ft above sea level, so the heat had not quite reached there. We spent the mornings in the fields, the afternoons out of the sun, and the evenings playing cricket, (cricket feaver had kicked in after India won the World Cup!). Although the 8-12 year old neighbors were tough, we stuck in there and held our own throughout the match, narrowly loosing (something like 10-7). It is amazing what one person could do in such a short time when dedicated. Since John and Sweta moved to Hamsa, the whole place has changed. The land is blossoming, the "pump house" is now a home, and there are three capsules, (one built by prior living routes students), and a fourth structure that is on its way, thanks to members of our group who helped put up the granite pillars, (they were really heavy). We left there feeling fulfilled, and inspired, strenghtend, and refreshed (and well rested). John is open to any and all WWOFer's who are interested, please contact him through WWOF.

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