Name: Joachim Rautenberg
Project: Discipline Farm
First of all I would like to say that I feel very well here in Auroville. This is of course mainly related to my working- and living-place, Discipline Farm. I am very pleased with this project, I believe that I have been doing an important and necessary job in organic farming here in South-India, I like the atmosphere at this place and the people working here.
After living my whole live at my parent’s place I have been enjoying my new freedom and independence since my arrival. And against my expectations I felt homesick just a few times in special situations during my stay. This is maybe based on the fact that I get along with the native climate, food and also people quite well. But in my opinion the main reason for this is that I am staying here with a group of thirteen other volunteers of the weltwaerts-programm, which is well organized and gives you a guarded feeling without being controlled too much. They are my most important social contact, a kind of company I can always trust on, and I spend a lot of my free time with them. Fortunately one of those volunteers moved three month ago in my project where we are living and working now together. It is a nice experience after the first months being the only volunteer at Discipline Farm to share every-day-live and –work with a friend.
But also some of my best friends I found in Auroville are other volunteers from all over the world. It is quite interesting for me to discover to discover the way of living of so many different cultures and also to see the huge variety projects existing here. I think it is quite easy to get in touch especially with other volunteers because they usually are in a similar situation like me, have maybe similar dreams and aims and ideas of their future. On the other hand the fluctuation of volunteers here is very high and seeing a lot of them coming and going I feel that I start to shut myself a little bit off and focus on a few well-known long-termer. That’s how maybe some of the of the Aurovillians feel too because as my experience shows it is a little bit harder to get in a closer contact with them, especially with people of my age. Nevertheless I met here more inspiring and committed people than I met in most of the places I visited.
Those people I met due to my work but also in my free time; I took part in the theatre play “The Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare, I do sports in the fencing club and I meet regularly with some native friends to play chess. Just a few weeks ago I also participated in the Auroville-Marathon, which was a great experience for me. Because of all these and many other events I feel how I become more and more related to this place and the people living here. The number of the citizens of this place is not too high and meanwhile for many of the faces I see on the streets I remember a name, which makes me believing that I almost found a second home here.
With Auroville I also connect a new kind of education, apart from the variety of workshops, movies or Tamil-lessons of course the practical work at out farm. After twelve years of school I enjoy this kind of education very much.
This is supported by the monthly agriculture lessons offered by Dr. Lucas from EcoPro and various biodynamic workshops also outside of Auroville.
Especially in this time of making decisions which subject I am going to study Auroville is a great place for inspiration and orientation.
To sum up I can say that I as a volunteer try to do my best to help to develop this place but it gives me much more back than I could ever offer. That’s why I am looking forward for another half a year in South-India and a lot of new exciting experiences.