Trip Start Jan 22, 2005
Trip End Nov 01, 2005

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Pondicherry is on the east coast of India midway north. It is perhaps more known for Auroville, a spiritual community founded many years ago by Sri Aurobindo. The community attracts many foreigners and occupies many acres near the city of Pondicherry. It is common to see non- Indians there, whereas further south, foreigners are rare and very interesting to the locals.

We had a chance to visit with Homeopath, Nandita Shah just before she left for a two month trip to Mumbai and many European seminars she will be conducting. She lives in a beautiful home in Auroville. Although the tsunami's hit to Pondicherry was minimal compared to the two towns 10 kilometres either side, the water did come into the lower floor of her home where her kitchen is.

After our visit with Nandita we decided to walk along the beach back to the main centre of town. It was a three kilometre walk passed a small fishing village where we saw some of the destruction of the Boxing Day devastation. As we walked, I (Hx) felt an intense anxious feeling in my chest. We saw lots of debris surrounding the new boats (obvious replacements for those lost at sea) as the waves crashed against the sand over and over again. I can't even begin to imagine how frightening it would have been to have the regular pace of that ocean change so drastically that morning. Although Pondicherry was harldy touched, I was filled with a tiny sense of what it must feel like for those living there now. Never really knowing if/when it will happen again.

I had hoped that while in Pondicherry we might be able to hook up with an organization doing some relief work. Unfortunately with so little time available and the general disorganization of the society we contacted, this did not come to pass. I look forward to really sinking our teeth into project work in the future.
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