Indians laugh when I tell them about our green, fenced-in pastures particularly sectioned out for our american cows. It is no joke: there are so many cows roaming the local streets and highways in India.
My new favorite scent is jasmine flowers sold on the street, tied delicately with thin, white string to decorate women’s hair. I am learning to eat food without utensils (though still feels wrong in my western-trained hands.)
On my second day, I received a bindi and got my first mehndi (henna) during a city festival that my internship participated in. We invited individuals and families to sit on blankets and add onto our “garden weave” themed embroidery project. That night, local bands performed and we danced underneath the stars. A few of my new friends took me to the beach afterwards. We sat on a beach house rooftop overlooking the shore, listening to the waves, and watching a huge slice of the moon on the rise.
It’s been two full, full weeks of Auroville, India. Eventually, I will explain a bit about the uniqueness of this city. I’m finally getting things together: finishing up my visa process, slowly figuring out how to get around town, learning my roles in my internship, etc. Time moves differently here. It certainly feels longer than two weeks. Scheduling is almost non-existent. Often, we just say, “I’ll see you when I see you.” I’m still getting used to that.
I am unsure of why, but today I am particularly overwhelmed with love and hospitality from patient and good people who care about my well being, getting me to the right places, and having a good time. My new friends are talented, fun, curious, and brave. I know I have lot to learn from this place and these people.