Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Two nights away from Hong Kong!!

I'm sitting in a wooden rustic cabin surrounded by 3 gurls I didn't know from Eve a week ago. I'm the oldest by a few years, and browner by a few shades. the last few days have been very full; i am on kitchen crew here, which means i wake up an hour before everyone else and have to help prepare the organic, mostly vegetarian delicious meals. we then go to the Studio...it is a multi purpose space in a small empty one room house style building. it is a sacred space, meant to be used for reflection, work, practice and anything else (we have dance parties and concerts up there since there is an ipod speaker base thing) we can think of that isn't loafing. we start the day off with movement, which is when we learn yoga and other eastern movement disciplines. we then meditate after our sun salutations and go to eat a breakfast of fresh baked bread, fresh cut organic fruit salad, admittedly wierd porridge, boiled eggs and sometimes scones. our teacher is a former pastry chef and modern dancer who has had her own companies in ny and WI or something. she's cool.
it's techinically a night before i should be using the internet, but my gurl alex, who reminds me a great deal of myself, in her penchant for overpreparedness, her heady interests and her ability to talk, got one of the eternally-miscommunicated-to leaders to give her the password to the wireless network. then someone came and asked us what we were doing, followed by the aforementioned leader apoligizing, and cancelling out the email that was up while leaving the connection. we then followed alex to her cabin and have been here ever since. there is a line (a very long line) to use the beautiful white portal to the outside world. it's nice here in maacama, but the real world follows me whereever i go. we went to REI (a FABULOUS moutain sports store), Target, and Trader Joe's today to get supplies. It turns out that alot of the things on my expensive and completely generic packing list were not specific to india. so alot of us spent alot of $$ we don;t have on shit we don't need. it was definately a VERY unhappy and even bitter group of us this morning.
the people here are sincere and open, these kids are really ready to experience India and are very open to the cultural grounding that i have tried to remind them they need. the "great sprirituality" of india and the "non materialistic worldview" of the people are obvious contrivances of the west, especially when not taken in context of how stratified the Hindu culture is, and how the status quo is so violently enforced that people's spirits are beaten into submission with every word, action and ritual from before they ever enter this incarnation of life. i appreciate that they recognize that the india they imagine is not the india that exists. they are very eager to learn more, and be corrected. they do not want to ever fall into the "stupid white americans" category.
there are 18 of us: 15 gurls, 3 boys. a few gurls are 20, everyone else is 17 or 18. we have been split into two even groups, each with a female and male leader. there is one co-ed group, and one all female. i'm on the all female one. we are the "spirit" group, and the other group is the "shanti" group. (shanti means peace) we will travel some of the time together, and the rest of the time with just the 11 of us. i'm really excited to be in india already, i can't imagine what it will be like at all. we've started having "India Orientation" with our 4 leaders today. They seem nice, quiet and slightly clueless. Not about India, but about the trip's ultimate details. They seem nice, and i look forward to getting to know them. Each of my leaders, Mike & Siri, has been to India 5 or 6 times for long periods of time. They are both very into Buddhism and learning/improving their Hindi.
There are two kids from CT here, one from Darien and the other from Weston. The gurl from Darien shaved her head along with 3 other gurls here. Crazy. Bald heads everywhere. Their sillouettes in the backlit curtainless windows look like mannequins. It's almost lights out, and as usual, there's way more to say.. i'll try and get back to the computer (illegal or legit) to post more.
Hope yall are checking back here, and PLEASE!!!! leave me comments when you read stuff!!! I haven't really gotten too many emails back either, which sucks. I miss everyone alot....please write me! i love long detailed updates of what is happening in your lives.


Shugu said...

my first comment got deleted :( Here's take 2...
Hi honey!! The camp environment sounds quaint, comforting and welcoming :)Plus kitchen duty sounds like the perfect place for my burgeoning foodie. The porridge sounds like matrix mush! Mayb if u think of it as matrix mush it'll be cooler to swirl your spoon through. Without you at the apartment with me I've been living off Chef Geoffs food and fresh fruits! hehe, I miss you so much. Without our long lazy afternoon conversations or rushed excited snippets between classes or walks to the metro DC feels lonely and empty. Cali was a good chance for me to get adjusted to you being gone :( wich i will (reluctantly) do in your absence. JUST KIDDING IM SO EXCITED THAT YOUR GOING!!!! I cant wait to read blogs peppered with Hindi phrases, see pics of you and your Leaps in kurtas, and inshallah hear how relaxed and strong yoga is making you. I love and miss you so much. I will be reading your posts religiously, so imagine me in your black leather chair, gray sweats and a beater, clinging to your every word (that will never change). You are a fantastic sister, role model, friend, and citizen of the world and the best is yet to come. I love you. You have the courage to explore in a way people only dream of, you have the greatest weapon of all in your aresnal- sense of self. Goodbye my darling, fly safe, and talk to you soon inshallah.

Frick said...

I'm so excited to read your new post! Of course I read all the others already :) I came on expecting nothing but am very excited with all the things you are doing and learning! Sounds VERY cleansing and spiritual, you will be a changed person when you come back although hopefully not unrecognizably so :-P I would write more but my space bar is giving me extra trouble... I emailed you and will email again soon. miss you!

Juan said...

Hey! It's so good that you are keeping touch. Guess what, I ran your opportunity to my humanities group and the 11th grade teacher (who's doing world history, she's also co-teaching with the Indian intern) is very, very interested in following your blog and incorporating it into their curriculum. They want you to come up to Boston and talk to the kids about your experience. Pretty good eh? Score another one for Juanchy, coming through in the clutch like Reggie Miller once again.

I miss being able to just call you whenever. BTW, what's going to happen to Silky Johnston while you are gone? My phone's bill is miniscule now, but I'm glad you get to have a chance to take off and work on yourself. There's not a lot to report on since yesterday. Let me know if the package got there pretty please.
Miss you a lot.