I am just about to hit the half-way point in my program, and I have started to get used to the sweltering heat, the ravenous bugs, and life in this part of the world. Living in the American Pavilion, has led me to experience what it means to ” live green” seeing as our electricity runs off of solar energy, the water we use is mostly rainwater, and we have compost-able toilets.
My program has changed slightly as I have decided to focus on studying sustainable farm practices, and I have taken to going to Solitude, a sustainable organic farm, close to our pavilion most days. I showed up on my first day eager to help them out, dressed in yoga pants, t-shirt and tennis shoes. I soon learned I was over-dressed upon noticing that most guys were shirtless and barefoot. My first task was to plant some lady finger seeds. In the first 5 minutes, I discovered that my arms were sweating and after a while I accepted the fact that every pore on my body was sweating.
After planting, I got the opportunity to cut up sticks for mulch and engaged in conversations with the other workers who came from places like England, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Texas. The woman from the Dominican Republic had brought her four-year old son with her, and I delighted in seeing his rampages around the farm. He gathered sticks that were twice his size and climbed the ladder of the water tower, and while many mothers would fret about their son being at such dangerous heights his mother allowed him to explore on his own accepting the fact that he would adventure wherever he pleased. It was clear to me that India could be a child’s favorite playground. We were able to see some unique little red bugs that come out after it rains. They are a bright red color and feel like velvet to the touch, and I delighted in seeing them as I worked.