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Travel Diary | Day 11 : The Eco Film Day

[ 17.10.2014 [ Friday ]

Once again a Friday. I first visited this beautiful place a week ago from this date, for the Forest tour. Time was flying really fast.

[For those who didn’t read the first days of the travel diary; There is a bus starting from Auroville Solar Kitchen at 4 o clock in the evening, every Friday , to Sadhana forest for Forest tour. ]

As it was raining most of the days, it was fun going to the forest and doing the sevas. I really enjoyed getting drenched in the rain. Other people had mixed feeling about the rain. Some loved it, some didn’t. Most people had an issue because their laundry wouldn’t get dry even after days of staying on the line.

Oh I didn’t tell you about the doing laundry, taking shower and water conservation part! Ok. As we are following a sustainable living in Sadhana forest, we are living off the grid. All the electricity produced is from the solar panels installed in there. The energy is mainly used for running the drinking water filtration unit, for running some pumps, for lighting purposes and charging of various electronic equipment. But still the electricity usage was very minimal.

So there was no pump operated for storing the water in an overhead tank for purposes like shower, laundry sort of things. A hand pump is installed in the kitchen for drawing water.  Every volunteer takes water from this pump for their laundry and shower. Steel buckets will be provided in the bathrooms and laundry place. You take a bucket from there, come to the kitchen area, operate the hand pump and take water back to bathroom or laundry place. From the kitchen area to these places, there is at least 200 to 300 m of walking distance. Walking all the way with a heavy bucket full of water can be a tedious task. So people use only that amount of water which is absolutely necessary. Once you get accustomed to this routine, you will realise how little quantity of water one really need for taking a bath or doing laundry. That is one way of conserving some water!

And the other place I want to mention is the hand wash stations. There are around 10 hand wash stations in Sadhana or maybe less than that. A hand wash station is where you can wash your hands. Water and organic hand wash solution will be provided near the stations. But there are no taps, but still you can get running water. A steel cup with a  small hole at the bottom is attached on a stone pillar and serves as the Tap. A big steel bucket full of water will be kept near these stations along with a steel cup. You pour the water into the ‘cup with a hole’, using the other steel cup. Water comes out from the hole at the bottom as a narrow stream and saves water. And we will realise how much water we are wasting while using a tap.  At Sadhana, volunteers talk about water conservation and they live it!

Well I was talking about getting wet in the rain. That was about my first seva in the forest. Today I had a community shift in the after noon. To help with dinner cooking. Fridays are big days! We have to cook for the guests too, those who come for the tour and stay with us till night. So dinner cooking on Fridays starts a bit early.

So we started at around 2.30 in the after noon.

More people for dinner means, more food. More food means more onions; more onions means more crying!! I was prepared to cry and cry, but I guess I had developed a bit of natural resistance towards the Syn-propanethial-S-oxide. ( Just google it 😉 ) So I didn’t cry that much. Some special cookies were also made that day- a vegan laddu, specially for the guests. Around 4pm people arrived for the tour. They were welcomed with the Laddu. They finished the tour by 6pm. By that time we were also finished with the dinner cooking. So we also joined the group of people, for the movie. That day the eco movie was about a ‘pirate ship’ run by a conservation society hunting a whaling ship operated by Japanese whalers. It was an interesting movie on Marine wildlife conservation.

After the movie, it was time for the dinner. All the volunteers helped with serving the food. After everyone got a plate, we started eating.  During dinner time, some people wanted to know how to become a volunteer. I was sure that some of them were going to stay there for long as volunteers. Yes, this place is definitely charming and people naturally get attracted towards it. Like I did. Like we all at Sadhana did.

Well Are you attracted too?

If you miss the previous day

Travel Diary | Day 10 : The Night Out

Travel Diary | Day 10 : The Night Out

16.10.2014 [ Thursday ]

I woke up super early today.  There was plenty of time before the morning circle at 6. So I took my camera and went for a morning stroll. The moon was full and that was the only available light. Of course that wasn’t enough for me to focus perfectly. But I still tried. I pushed the ISO to its limits. The pictures were grainy and I started to love those grains. Again attempting to embrace the imperfections.

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The different view of the dorm hut in the morning. Hope you will like the grainy views. Continue reading Travel Diary | Day 10 : The Night Out

Travel Diary | Day 9 : The Non Talent show Night

15.10.2014 [ Wednesday ]

Another day, Woke up before the wake up call and got ready by that time. After the 6 o clock morning circle, I again went to the forest with the forest team. And we cleared some space for planting new trees by taking out some acacias. We came back before 8.30 to have our breakfast. During the breakfast time the second sevas were allotted. I was already assigned with lunch cooking for that day. So after the breakfast I headed to the kitchen along with other kitchen team.

There will be one chef, who will be good at cooking, or experienced enough to understand how to cook for a large group of people. Continue reading Travel Diary | Day 9 : The Non Talent show Night

Travel Diary | Day 8 : A day in Sadhana forest

14.10.2014 [ Tuesday ]

At Sadhana, a weekday starts at 5.30 in the morning. I really don’t like a queue, either  short or long  in front of toilets. I wasn’t sure how things were atSadhana as it was my first morning. So to be on a safer side, I woke up before 5.30 and got ready by 5.30.

Then at 5.30 in the morning, this guy came with a guitar to our dorm, singing some songs. That was our wake up call! I loved this idea. I guess at Sadhana, everyone loved to wake up to a beautiful song everyday morning like this. Well who doesn’t love such an idea!!  By 6 am everyone got ready. By the way, at Sadhana, we have an organic tooth power that we use instead of the usual toothpaste that contains harmful chemicals. Yes, this is Organic living!

At 6, we had something called morning circle. It is the time when everyone comes together in a big circle and Continue reading Travel Diary | Day 8 : A day in Sadhana forest

Travel Diary | Day 7 : Hitch hiking to the Forest (contd)

13.10.2014 [ Monday ] ( Contd.)

First part : Travel Diary | Day 7 : Hitch hiking to the Forest

I was walking into the wild.

Soon I was going to live in the wild. My life at Sadhana forest was going to start.

Sadhana forest  is a part of Auroville, which is around 6km away from Auroville city. Sadhana forest is a community working towards reforestation, water conservation, sustainable and organic living.

And I was going to volunteer there for a few days. Definitely not a part of my earlier plans, you must be knowing if you were following my travel diary.

As I reached there around 11 am, the volunteers were already started doing their daily activities.  One of the long-term volunteers whom I have already met,  welcomed me and showed me around.  He gave me a short introduction about their daily activities  and briefly after showed me my accommodation. Continue reading Travel Diary | Day 7 : Hitch hiking to the Forest (contd)