perjantai 21. maaliskuuta 2014

Home is wherever I'm with you

So now I'm finally home. Been already almost five days. My journey home wasn't entirely without problems when I didn't have my registration papers in original with me, but I don't even want to think about those hours of horror anymore. Luckily I was travelling during the biggest hindu festival Holy, so they didn't want to disappoint people on that day...

I'm sitting here at home, drinking (a big) cup of chai and listening to Indian music from Aashiqui 2 and Chennai Express...Tried to prepare some nice Indian food a couple of times but it doesn't taste at all like the delicious meals Amma used to prepare for me...and my family can't even eat my food since I still don't know how much to use of my half kilo of chili powder purchased at the Mysore market...Guess I just have to practice.

It is winter here. One day before I flew home my mum told me that the winter came again...She asked me if it okay for me? haha :D It is snowy and cold and fresh. But it is also bright outside. The spring is coming! The light is so different from India. It is a cold and very bright light when in India it is a warm and hot light.

Sunny or cloudy, warm or cold, snow or not snow, India or Finland. It doesn't matter where you are or what the climate or the surroundings are like if you just have the right people around you. In India I met lovely people, got a second family and felt like home even there. It was hard to leave and say goodbye, but I did it already earlier when I left Hunsur and my Host Family. In Sadhana Forest I already felt like on my way home. But even there I started to feel like home among all the beautiful people. And then finally it was time to leave it all behind and come back to Finland. I'm so happy to be here. To meet all my friends and my boyfriend, to be with my family, to play the piano and do all the small things I used to do at home. I'm so full of energy and so motivated to do so many things! Let's see how long it lasts... ;)

I really don't know what to do with this blog. Or actually the question is that should I start a new one or not. I always thought that writing blog about yourself is quite narcissistic and self-centered, so even the India blog felt a bit weird in the beginning. I mean who do you think are interested in your life and your thoughts? But at least people could be interested in India, so there I had one reason to write. Maybe I find reasons good enough to write, maybe not. It has been a great pleasure,however, to write this India-blog and also to discover how many people have actually read it! (or looked at the pictures) Thank you all! :)

snow snow snow

cold cold cold

Last Goodbyes, my Indian Grandma!

Carly, my saviour. Without her I wouldn't be at home right now... (she copied my registration papers when I was panicing at the airport)

Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
This song I listened to with my volunteer friends in Hunsur and later we also sang it with Carly and Axelina in Sadhana on Open Stage.

Home on Open Stage

torstai 13. maaliskuuta 2014

Growing Forest and Growing People

Morning watering

Surya Namaskara

Banana break without bananas

wick irrigation 

dreadlock workshop

Axelina and Alice


Birthday girl Carly

Croche Workshop

Bicycling in Auroville




maanantai 10. maaliskuuta 2014

Seva - Selfless Service

Morning Cirkle 6.15 am

Tree Care, Making of Plant Food

 Leaves from Nitrogen Fixers

Bicycling to get it mixed

Plant Juice!

Final Filtering

Dinner Cooking, Excited by the oven

Fooling around

and it gets dark...

Fried Vegetables

torstai 6. maaliskuuta 2014

Stand By Us

For you who haven't read my earlier texts, at the moment I'm volunteering in Sadhana Forest which is a reforestation and environmental regeneration project. Sadhana Forest has its biggest project here in Southern India, in Pondycherry, Auroville, but it has also started projects in for example Kenya and Haiti.

We grow forest in rural areas where most of the land have been desertificated (it will say eroded and arid) to help the local communities to sustain their future. Since the poor land here in the outskirts of Auroville have been taken care of the water table has risen 6 meters from where it was 2003 when Sadhana Forest started. Now the locals have more water in their wells and the flora and fauna of the tropical dry evergreen forest has returned. Read more about the project where I'm staying at the moment here.

Haiti is one of the most deforested countries in the world. One of the reasons to this is the charcoal industry, which is also the only source of income for many locals. Sadhana Forest introduced food bearing trees to the local people, in this way the trees won't be cut down for charcoal since the people can benefit from the trees. Read more about the project in Haiti here.

The Samburu tribe in Kenya is suffering of food insecurity. Unpredictable rainfall, local problems and desertification of the land are some of the reasons for this. Sadhana Forest trains and helps the locals to grow a food forest and to become more self sustainable. Read more about the project in Kenya here.

Sadhana Forest relies entirely on voluntary work. One of Sadhana Forests guidelines is Gift Economy, meaning selfless giving. We grow forests and try to help the locals without asking anything in return. The same principles are also applied in the community between the people working here. Nobody makes profit in  a sense of money, not the individuals and not the organisation either.

Until now Sadhana Forest has been economically relying on individual donations. The problem with these are that you never now when they are coming, if they are coming, so it is hard to plan the future projects when you don't know if the support will come or not. That is why Sadhana Forest has resently launched the Sustaining Member program in which the donor agrees to contribute a certain amount of money every month. It doesn't have to be big amounts, even a couple of euros are helping a lot if many people are doing it. So if you would like to support this project, which I've really seen working in real life and which is trying to practise selfless giving and helping around the world check out the links below.

 Become a SUSTAINING MEMBER or donate one time!

Help sharing the youtube video and let all your friends now about this project. New volunteers are also very welcome in all the different projects. Being a volunteer in Sadhana Forest is so much fun, meeting new people, working together and living sustainable and eco-friendly.

To Volunteer in India

To Volunteer in Haiti

To Volunteer in Kenya

Thank You!

Open Stage in Sadhana Forest

Also called Non Talent show. Open for everybody to watch or perform. No pressure, no perfectionism. And great atmosphere.

Scandinavian Fusion

Jammin, Everybody likes banani...

 more videos coming maybe later ;)

torstai 27. helmikuuta 2014

Sadhana Forest

It's been a while since I wrote last time. Days have passed so fast here and I haven't really been in the mood of writing. But now finally I will try provide you an introduction to the life here in Sadhana Forest. I arrived here last wednesday (19th of february) so it's been over a week here already. My arrival was a bit turbulent. I was late because of the Chennai traffic and once I got picked up from the Pondicherri Toll Gate (after all the stressing) by an other short term volunteer we managed to fall of the bike because of my heavy luggage. What a great start. We survived however and got alive to Sadhana Forest in the end.

So first of all I will put the link to Sadhana Forest homepage here so that all of you who are interested in what this project really is can read and have a look. I will try to explain some things by myself but there really is a lot to explain.

quote from the webpage:

"The vision of its founders, Yorit and Aviram Rozin, is to transform 70 acres of severely eroded, arid land on the outskirts of Auroville. In a spirit of human unity, their aim is to introduce a growing number of people to sustainable living, food security through ecological transformation, wasteland reclamation, and veganism. Our energy and resources are focused on the creation of a vibrant, indigenous Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF)."

So basically people are living here together practising sustainable living as well as ecologically as socially. We plant trees and take care of the forest and the community. Our food is strictly vegan, eco and as unprocessed as possible (for example no white rice, no milk products and so on). Alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited here and also outside the community during the stay. Everyone participates in the daily workshifts that can be taking care of the forest or fixing things in the community. In the afternoons the people of the community arrange workshops in which they share their special skills, everything from poi to poetry and dance to languages. At the moment there are around 100 short term volunteers and 30 long terms, that live here permanently. The children in the community are raised according to the principles of unschooling (check it on the internet if interested) and the whole community tries to be competition free. All kinds of competitive games and activities are banned in order to create a mor accepting and open atmosphere.

Sadhana Forest is part of Auroville, which is an experimental village dedicated to human unity and founded by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Read more about it here . Sadhana Forest has also established projects in Haiti and Kenya.

So here you have a short introduction to the place I'm staying at. I will be here until the 15th of March, so almost one month. It is really nice here and I enjoy it a lot, living up to certain principles. Living in a tight community of so many different people from all around the world is however not easy all the time. But for everyday that passes I learn more and come closer to finding my own place in this all. At the same time I'm already waiting so much to come home. It is only a couple of weeks left!

The Main Hut



water for the trees