Friday, June 12, 2009

2009 06 12. Friday.

2009 06 12. Friday.

Looking east inland I can see a lot more cell phone towers than last time poking up above the endless horizon to horizon carpet of palm trees. No surprise. Cell phones are booming. I can see about 16 towers from my vantage point on the 10th floor.

As I was leaving the recycling area this morning, I saw a bunch of cars and motorcycles all flying the flag of the Indian Congress Party (the main center-left party in India; currently in power). I asked and some Indian guy pointed out a man and said he was a member of the National Parliament. The MP hopped onto his special open air campaign car and the whole entourage and motorcade left the ashram, green and orange Congress party flags flapping in the warm humid breeze. He must have stopped by the ashram for a tour. In the past Amma has met with the President of India (J. P. Kalam). Kalam has spoken at the ashram at least once. I don't know if She's met the Prime Minister. Wherever Amma goes in India, the local political big-wigs turn out to greet Her, drape Her with a flower garland and give speeches at Her programs. Same in America; usually local official will come and give a short speech before Amma's program and drape Her with a garland. Amma almost always gives them a nice hug.

At the compost today Pete was training one of the Indian men (Balanan) so he could take the lead on the compost. The plan is for the Indians to take full charge of all the compost work at some point. Its very labor intensive and they're not enough western volunteers to do all the work. I'm exhausted after each days work. The signs around the ashram call it a "fun seva" but they don't say how intense the work is. Definitely not my idea of "fun". But it feels really good that we're doing something so wonderfully harmonious with nature. As we were cleaning up I said to Balanan "We'll now call you 'Compostananda' the 'Compost Raja'." He laughed. Perhaps Balanan can round up a crew of Indian workers to do all the composting properly.

Since I knew I was going to be working on compost when chai time came, I brought my thermos with me so I could enjoy the chai after all the work is done. Its interesting that if you bring a cup to chai, they will only give you a standard serving and no more. However, if you bring a thermos, the chai pourers are happy to fill the thermos all the way to the top. So today he happily filled my thermos. Cool. It holds about a cup and a half. I've gotten used to drinking only the unsweetened chai. My system seems to like doing without the sugar, and now that I'm used to it, my taste buds don't miss the sweetness (well, missing it a little bit).

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