I am now safe and sound in Pondicherry! After a 2 hour taxi drive from Chennai, we finally arrived within the city limits, and drove through the rush of the Pondicherry morning market. We then checked into the ashram’s ‘Good Guesthouse’ where we will be staying for the next 10 days. The house is a beautiful french building with high ceilings and a garden inside the walls.
After we settled in I took a walk on the oceanfront with Dan and Harvinder, who lives in our guest house and is part of the ashram’s education staff.
We met with the Vijaybi, the society’s director, this morning. He is charming and exudes kindness, competency and creative imagination as he always has new and innovative project ideas. I told him that I love to read and write and that I am interested in media, publishing, and politics, and he said that I might be interested in a project that they want to start with two villages to teach them how to use radio, print media, and the internet for social change. Sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to get to see all the facilities and faces over the next few days. He said he would get bikes for me and Keri to explore the town, which will be great. They drive on the left side of the road here.
Keri, Dan, and I just finished a great lunch at the Seaside Guest house, another of the ashram’s guesthouses. Everything we eat and drink here is delicious, some familiar, and some foreign, such as mango pickle or a juice made from a fruit called bel, that tastes kind of like cassava.
I also saw an elephant outside the big main temple!! It places a blessing on your head with a tap of its trunk.
My good friend and ASUO Vice President Maneesh has been to the Sri Aurobindo Society before, and told me about the elephant, but for some reason I thought he meant an elephant statue, not a real one! Instead of a blessing, Keri and I got sneezed on when we walked by.