Friday, June 19, 2009

2009 06 19. Friday.

2009 06 19. Friday.

At the morning veggie chop I had a nice talk with Vitrana. He's from Ireland and is a strong Sai Baba devotee. His accent is heavenly! Sai Baba is another very popular guru also from south India like Amma. I'm guessing that Sai Baba has quite a few more devotees in India and around the world than Amma. Not sure. Probably many millions in India consider themselves devotees of Sai Baba. And there are Sai Baba groups in most big cities in America. He said that even though he's a strong Sai Baba devotee he felt an inner calling to visit the Amma ashram and make a connection with Amma. I told him that I've visited a number of Sai Baba groups in America and have always enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, the great bhajans and wonderful devotional energy of the groups. I told him I totally understand how one can have a connection with 2 different gurus. I know there's a fair number of Amma devotees who are also devotees of Sai Baba. They often say that Amma is their Divine Mother (Devi, Kali, Durga) and Sai Baba is their Divine Father (Shiva, Krishna, Rama).

Got some jaggery (dark palm sugar) at the store today. Now I remember how good it is. I enjoyed it the last time I was here. Sweet but with a rich, complex flavor. I made sure and put it in an air tight container with a good lid. The ants would really love to get to it. I used a clear plastic container so the ants could see clearly whats inside. Yes, I know, totally evil.

At the compost pile work today I had to run and get a refill of cow urine. They mix the cow urine with cow poop to make slurry to slop onto the pile as its being layered. The slurry adds nitrogen which the little bacteria love. So I grabbed a 10 gallon bucket and a little pushcart and off I went to the cow shed. It was nice cause its less intense than layering the pile so its like a little rest break. I got to the cowshed and the urine is collected in a little concrete trough at one corner of the shed. At that time of the day the 6 or 7 cows are out of the sun and lined up at the hay trough blissfully munching away and pooping and peeing to their heart's delight. From the urine trough I had a great view of the ass end of the cows. Oh, boy. Occasionally a cow would look back at me with a pair of soulful brown eyes and a mouth full of straw. At feeding time the cows are watched over by 1 or 2 western devotees. I got a small bucket and filled the big bucket about 70% full of nice warm fresh cow urine. Every few minutes a fresh flow of urine would refill the trough. Since I've been working on the compost pile for 8 or 9 days now I'm totally used to the smell. Don't even notice it. Then I slowly push the cart back to the composting area. Even going slowly, some of the urine sloshes out. When I return Peter says "Great! Lets make more slurry!" with the same enthusiasm as a kid asking for another milkshake. He's definitely a farmer all the way to the bone.

Going to the cowshed was a reminder that I'm living my dream of being in a wonderful Amma community that is dedicated to living in harmony with nature. Very nice.

After today's compost pile was complete I had a nice long talk with Peter Ash. He's in charge of the whole compost pile project. I told him it would be great if we could start to properly monitor, track and take data on all the compost piles to see what's working and how best to improve the process. He enthusiastically agreed and we spoke for a while about the best way to take data and properly monitor all the piles. I told Pete I'd write up a proposal for the compost data project and run it by him. I also spoke to one of the Indian yellow robe brahmacharis who's been helping in the compost area and he also agreed its a good idea. This should be an interesting leela. One thing I love to do is test monitoring; taking data, studying it, making charts, graphs, etc, and writing reports and analyses. I was an engineer for about 13 years and data gathering, analysis and reporting was a big part of the job. It was great.

No comments: