Chakka, Chakka, Boom, Boom…

I am dedicating this blog to the wondrous fruit that is the chakka, jackfruit. The large oval fruit hangs from the trees with its green spiky covering protecting it from hungry critters. One never knows quite how to proceed when it is placed before you. Luckily, the families of Prashanthagiri have aided us in this endeavor. Once opened, many pockets of fruit and seeds are revealed. The fruit is a bit of a shock to […]

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Children’s Gardening Curriculum Coming Up in the Community English Class

The children were giggling and screaming out the names of vegetables, fruits and flowers. It was an intense review game for our weekend English class in the rural community of Wayanad. Jessi, a community member and one of the Spoken English teachers had already chosen a vegetable name which all of us had to guess in order to win the vocabulary game. The children, ages from 4 to 14, were energetically screaming and giggling trying […]

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Notes from the Puddle

People say I make strange choices, but they’re not strange for me. My sickness is that I’m fascinated by human behavior, by what’s underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people. – Johnny Depp. This is one of my favorite quotes. For the past few years I have thought of this quote from time to time, and in returning from our trip to Pondicherry, it crossed my mind again. We visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram […]

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Colors, Colors Everywhere

I am in my second week here in India. I am learning a lot about India’s political, economic, cultural, and historical background as I adapt to my new environment. My favorite aspect of India currently is the colors popping out at me everywhere I look. The women strolling along in their saris…each one different and beautiful. Varying shades of orange, blue, green, purple, pink. Some fringed with gold, some fringed with silver. The gold bangles […]

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The Art of Negotiation

Negotiation has become an important practice in these last few weeks. I have learned that anything and everything is negotiable in India. Meeting times, prices, partnerships with other organizations, crossing an intersection, everything requires a bit of negotiation. And more importantly, all things require compromise. A day in the small town of Mananthavady affords much practice in negotiating skills. And whether it’s buttons or bananas, Jenny knows when to let up and when to stand […]

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