After an 8 hour flight from Paris, we landed in Mumbai and we were all rushing to make our next flight to Chennai. We arrived in Chennai at 4:30 am and all got onto two buses. Our first stop was to enjoy an authentic Indian breakfast. Though the taste was unfamiliar to most of us, we thoroughly enjoyed every bite. Certain students found the dish too spicy, while others were prepared to eat spicier dishes! We returned to the buses and traveled another couple of hours to a beach. There, we saw horses, sacred statues, and a beautiful ancient temple. Many of us climbed up some rocks for an even better view. There were men cutting fresh coconuts nearby with machetes, and each of us were eager to stick a straw in a coconut! Then, we walked up to a gorgeous relief sculpture which lead to a lighthouse, more ancient statues, and temples behind it. Where we are, in Tamil Nadu, is actually one of the most ancient regions in India. When we finally arrived in Auroville (the township we will be working within the next four weeks) we ate at Tanto’s, an Italian restaurant wherin we all enjoyed pizzas to share. At this point, it was only 3 pm, but everyone was exhausted and falling asleep. We eventually made it to the Mitra Guest house where we are staying. We were assigned roommates, received our room keys, and had free time until 5:30pm. While most students decided to nap, I decided to venture out with three other students to discover the area. We forgot that the roads were reversed à la UK style, and wandered straight into oncoming traffic–which was both scary and funny. We got to the Vistor’s Center (built out of sustainable brick materials) and were pleased to find delicious iced coffees and good wifi connection, for the Mitra’s wifi is not very strong. Finally, we all gathered for dinner next door at the Town Hall around 7pm. Needless to say, the day was filled with plenty of food and travel–and even I could not wait to get to bed by then.
We all called it an early night, and many of us woke up for a 7am yoga session with our instructor-to-be Natascha. It was amazing and much needed!