Monday, 24 February 2014

The last week...

Hi there, we've just had a wonderfully sociable week which is a welcome change to the usual standard busy week.

On Monday we visited a friend who has a pool (we stayed with her in 2012 when we visited), it's a lovely place to relax. She also gave us a big bag of fresh coconuts harvested from her trees. They're so good, the coconut water sweet and the flesh still soft. Delicious.


On Wednesday afternoon we visited Transition School for their annual dress up parade. The school is the main school in AV for ages 7-16. The theme this year was 'A New World' which left it very open to different costumes.

Getting a better view.

Each grade had their own time to show off their outfits starting with the youngest... the biggest. We have friends whose children go to this school so it was nice to cheer them on too. It was funny to think that we might well be here in a couple of years to cheer K on, all dressed up. C was also happy to see that some of the teachers that used to teach him were still there.
On Thursday evening we wert to a fundraising dinner for a small independant school known as TLC (The Learning Community). Here's a little info on the school:
'The Learning Community' (TLC) is an experiment in Integral Education that opened its doors in Auroville in July 2009. A core group of adult facilitators and other external teachers offering a variety of subjects to those interested and an increasing group of children aged 7-10 years form the basis of this steadily running project. 
The main aim of the school is to create a space where children and adults, by living and working together, can grow more conscious of their inner and outer being. The Aurovilian team endeavours to offer a space where children and adults have access to a great variety of different environments, each having a specific gift to share. They see the community of Auroville as a school in itself and by the exposure to these different environments (through the tool of a ‘moving classroom’), children will naturally engage in a process of learning, develop faculties, and will be able to create their own conditions for growth and happiness.
A friend of ours volunteers there as her eldest son goes there (the youngest going to Transition), it's great that such places are readily available here. If K doesn't find convential schooling works for him then I'd certainly consider letting him attend this school. Funny really as I'd always advocated convential schooling as it had worked well for me but the more I learn about my son and the environment we now live in, I see that we really have a great chance to support him with an educational style that suits him (homeschooling is just not for us). His kindergarten already follows a Montessori style of teaching which I find is much kinder and creative than his nursery in the UK.
Anyway, the dinner was lovely, lots of low tables on mats with candles out in the open with a meat, veg and vegan option The food cooked and donated by various parents, volunteers and restaurants. The childen from the school were the waiters, dressed in black and white with a red sash around their waists (a number of them had been into Nandini for white tops over the past week or two). There was a live group playing called Balkan Masala which created the perfect ambiance.
K met with some classmates and spent the evening running about and having great fun. After dinner the kids put on a play, a comedic whodunnit, written by one of the volunteers which was so lovely to see. There was also a circus display and a fire show. It was truly heartwarming to see so many like minded people and their beautiful smiling free spirited children coming together to help this tiny school of around 25 pupils build a new classroom. It's moments like this that I feel I am home. :)
On Sat it was the annual music festival at Solitude organic farm, was another chance to see the wider community come together to raise money and awareness at various stalls with some great music thrown in for good measure.

We got some new seeds, including cucumber and capsicum and flower seeds for the garden border.

Beautiful handpainted art, have my eye on a flower of life hanging but I know where they're based so it can wait for another time...

K and a classmate in their papa's chappals (flipflops)

Balkan Masala - just super music.

So needless to say, we had a nice quiet day yesterday. Today we awoke to the surprise sound of rain and it's still coming down hours later. It's so good for the plants as we had such a small amount during monsoon season.
Lastly I wanted to show you how K's papaya tree is getting on. Here it is in Oct last year:

And here it is now (well, a few weeks ago). It's just started flowering and we are pretty sure it's a female so should be blessed with fruit within a few months.
Here's a recent shot of our house, the garden is coming along nicely. More about that in my next post.

Speak soon, Laura ॐ

Friday, 14 February 2014

Little update...

Hi, today I wanted to write about how I've been getting on on a personal level. Our days here are filled with things to do and sometimes it's good to stop and think about the stuff going on below the surface.

The past few weeks have marked a big change in my attitude to my surroundings, I feel much less nervous about venturing out on my own. Last week I went on a shopping trip to Pondy for work and was left alone at one point waiting for a taxi to take me and some of our purchases to the next shop. When I first arrived, this would have been too much for me but finally I was totally at ease, as I would have been in the UK getting a taxi. I can now drive down the main Auroville road to Kuilyapalyam where the old Pour Tous, Bakery and original post office are and I even feel ready to tackle Pondy on my own (by bus, not driving!).

It's been quite a turning point and ties in with making new (old in some ways - I've known some people since my first time here) friends and making time to visit them. I even got invited to a girls evening with a pot luck dinner last week. After 5 months of missing my few treasured friends it was so nice to have a laugh, a little drink and lots of cake. I really felt like part of the gang and also pleased that I was finally in a position to leave C at home for the evening with K and go off by myself (well, I got a lift with someone as it's not so safe to travel alone at night for a female).

It may seem like something that shouldn't take 5 months to some people but it feels like the right time for me. There's no hurry. On some level we're still settling in. Our papers are still in the system so we're not yet officially recognised as members of the community. It's a big lesson in patience as there's nothing we can do to speed the process up. Been waiting 5 months now!

Tourist season is in full swing here now, interesting to view from the otherside. It does mean we get groups of them wielding cameras walking through our community, snapping everything in sight and sometimes even asking to look inside the house. The traffic is much busier and due to the poor monsoon the roads are very dusty. Not everyone living here appreciates tourist season but I want to try to keep in mind that their revenue, input in the form of volunteering and positive energy really helps the community at large and that nearly everyone was a tourist here at some point.

It's been a good start to the year and I hope that it just gets better as things unfold, opportunities arise and we become more settled in our lives here. It's not been easy and there's still some work to be done but so far, thanks in part to my link to home via the internet, I've felt good about our move and homesickness has been kept to a minimum. I've found that rediscovering albums from my past has been helpful too. Being removed from the place I lived those times has given me perspective and helped me to really appreciate my history and identity. It can be a comfort in a place where you have yet to carve a niche for yourself.

Anyway, love to all those suffering in the UK with all the flooding, espcially my nearest and dearest in Somerset. You're in my thoughts, stay safe. xx

More soon, Laura.