the last leg!

I have arrived at my final section of this trip: Onchocerciasis. Kate and Shane and I just trekked around Kodaikanal and Wadaikanal for a little while to beat the heat. On my overnight bus to Chennai last night, the driver stopped at ever roadside temple to leave some incense. There were many temples in this 12 hour bus ride. Now I am off to find formal Indian wear appropriate for working in a hospital setting, and figure out the Chennai bus system.

I have also put a slideshow of other photos from my Himalaya time on the left of the page, and I'll add more as I get the time. You can click on it and browse the photos at your leisure. Hope everything is going well!



sadhana forest

Greetings! Here are a few updates:

I have had some great interactions with Indian healthcare. My pal Hannah got a parasite, and her trip to the emergency room cost us under Rs. 250 (USD $5), including her 3 prescriptions. Shoes are not allowed inside the hospital. I stepped on a rusty nail and got a tetanus shot for Rs. 13 (USD $0.26). Lastly, I got food poisoning and puked in the banana pits.

I am ready to leave Auroville. I will do this shortly.
This is my friend Shane in my bed in our hut at Sadhana forest. I just started using that mosquito net because there are rats scurrying over my body.

Repo beach with Pondicherry in the background.

KATE RAY. And Marcel Sielmann of Bangalore doing a dance for me.

This is a sober dance party at 11am in the main hut at Sadhana forest.

Sunset in Pondicherry.

I am bewildered after entering the Matrimandir, the golden structure behind me which is the center of Auroville. This interior of the building came to the Mother in a vision, and contains a giant crystal lit up by sunlight. I meditated in that chamber, and now I want to leave Auroville asap.

Biking through Pondy.
Speaking of biking in this town, my friend Ryan got his bike stolen. He paid Rs.8000 for it, then flew back to the U.S. Today, the police notified us that they found it. This is because the Pondicherry police were the ones who stole it! WhoA! After bribing them Rs. 4000 for the return of the bike, there was another Rs. 4000 which was donated to Sadhana Forest. Policemen also tried to arrest me for swinging on a playground too late in Pondicherry. They tried to hit me with a very large stick, but Kate Ray sweet talked them out of it. Thank you for your service and protection.


sat on ya

Apparently (to use the words of a cherished Chemist) to comment on my posts "one has to belong to a covert organizational system to be allowed access." If this is the case, do as George did, and send me an e-mail. I would like to hear from you, and you, and you.

In other news, I am settling down outside of Auroville at the Sadhana Forest, and have developed some sort of routine thing. The place is very wonderful and fairly strange. It is the first time I've ever lived in "a commune." Though my parents like to think otherwise, despite the centrality of Sri Aurobindo's philosophies, it is not a cult. Let me describe in brief. There are about 10 huts made of bamboo in the middle of a very arid red place, where 30 volunteers help to plant, expand, and maintain 70 acres of tropical dry evergreen forest. It was started 5 years ago, and the water table in the area has risen considerably since then. The volunteers are a scattered group, from India, US, France, Germany, Sweden, Macedonia, and Australia. We do yoga at 5am, first work from 6-8, second work from 9-noon, lunch, freetime, then afternoon chores when the heat has subsided. unfortunately, the heat never subsides. I have never felt heat like this in my life! Other things of note about this place is the lack of meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, drugs, and "aggravating spices," replaced by a high presence of jaggery, fresh produce, and spirulina. My high carb mountain diet has been turned on its head. Also, no competitive games (such as cards and chess) are allowed. !!!

To escape this insulated forest and the heat, my friends and I have rented motorbikes and take frequent trips to the beach and to Pondicherry in the afternoons. Driving in India is like biking in New York, only on the left hand side. Instead of dodging cars and pedestrians, you must dodge cars, pedestrians, bicycles, motorbikes, trucks, buses, cows, funeral processions, and goats. Magnificent! The bay of bengal has great waves, and I've learned how to build an earth home. Kate Ray arrives at Sadhana Forest TOMORROW. What's news with you?

The Mother



the bay of bengal is a large bath with great waves. in the case of Chennai beaches, it is a trash-filled bath with creepy indian men who line up to shake hands and linger.

Pondicherry, on the other hand, is a gem. There is real fish and good wine here, as well as tricked out rickshaws that play Michael Jackson really loudly upon request. Two Christians have tried to save my soul in Southern India. Here is my place of employment and rest for the next 2 or 3 weeks. Talk soon, real soon.