I realize that the sound of going to forest in which you work for you room and the food you get is vegan doesn’t sound like the most popular tourist destination. That is because it is not a tourist destination. The minimum stay here is two weeks, and everyone works for 4-5 hours in the morning. Without really knowing what we were getting ourselves into, Tanya sent an e-mail to say that we were coming.
There are more people here then ever, over 100. Which may not seem like a big number, in the monsoon, there is only about 20 people here though, and this place is starting to swell with the tourist season. The community is going through some growing pains, infastructure is being build encredibly fast accmodate the extra people.
Tshere is a couple that started this forest, their names are Yorit and Aviram Rozin, fueled by a dream, the community was build around non-violence, whole foods, and clear minds (no drinking or drugs while your stay here). There is also a forest (the main focus of the project). The whole area is about 30 ha which is tiny, but it contains a rare ecosystem that is nearly deforested.
Life at the forest is simple, you sleep in simple huts, eat simple food and you do simple tastes. Not that technology is forbidden, quite the opposite, there is wifi Internet access for everyone (if you brought a laptop), the workstations are dotted with iPods and speakers, which play familiar music. There is a projector in the main hall in which movies are played twice a week.
Like I said before, the food is vegan, which has been a lot better then expected. I often finish lunch thinking I could eat more, but I don’t and I’m not super hungry when dinner is served. There is no refined food allowed, no oils or sugar. The food is actually pretty good.
We plan to stay another week or so, and then it is off to Mysore to do some yoga. The posts for the next two months are going to slow down. As we start to spend more time in the same place, we just won’t have that many things to write about. This is a heads up, I will send out another e-mail when we start cycling again. Our ticket to leave India is near the end of April, so some time in May we will be back on the road cycling.