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Halbzeitsbericht Lisa

Second Report                              Auroville, 1 March 2013   Lisa Timmermann
At this point in time, our future in Auroville is becoming shorter than the time we have already experienced.
Some days ago I spoke with my flatmate, who has become over the last six months a really good friend, about our time here. She expressed the image mentioned above, which I find good but also a little bit sad. Until recently, the future for us here in Auroville had been longer than the time we have already been here. But now the past is becoming from day to day longer than the time we are to remain.
Three members of our Weltwärts group returned to Germany; these were three personal histories which deeply moved me. One positive thing has been to see how well the group works together and how supportive the members are. I am very happy to be involved with this group, one upon which I can rely.
The circumstances of my living situation during the first three months were somewhat unfavourable in that I could only stay in my flat until December, and for this reason did not feel motivated to make the place very comfortable. However, since the beginning of December I have been living together with two other Weltwärt students in a village to the north of Auroville and am now very content with the situation. Nevertheless, I think I want to move again in May for the last three months of my stay so that I can become acquainted with another area of Auroville or with a new village.
During Christmas I was a little bit homesick, and this feeling did not really disappear quickly. I think the fact that I broke my left arm in the second week of January contributed to this homesickness. Because of this accident I could not be as independent as I would have liked to be. It is fortunate for me that I live with one of my colleagues, particularly during the first days. As regards transportation, if it is not possible to drive together (motorbike) with my colleague, I can take the DEEPAM bus, which picks up the children in the morning and drops them at their homes in the afternoon. One child that attends DEEPAM lives on the same street as I do, so the bus drives directly past the house where I reside.
The children as well as my colleagues were very attentive to me during this period. At least once a day, I was asked if my arm was still painful.
A few days ago the cast was removed, and now I have the feeling that my arm will never be the same. For the next days or weeks I will still be dependent on my flatmates, the bus, or a taxi, about which I am not happy. I want to take up again the sports that I had begun here, and I want to decide by myself where and when I want to go. I am looking forward to that time.
It has not been easy to live in the moment during the last weeks. Quite a number of questions have arisen. Questions like: What will I do after the year in Auroville? Do I really want to work as an occupational therapist? Or, should I perhaps study something else? At the same time, I am also thinking about the six months in India that still remain. What shall I do during this period so that I can complete the year with satisfaction? I still find myself in this process.
During the last six months I have grown into the DEEPAM project and into the congenial and supportive team. Equally or even more important, I have won the confidence and respect of the children. I have had to become accustomed to the difference in cultures and the different ways that children are treated: for example, the things that take place at the children’s homes and how my Indian colleagues react in certain situations. For this reason, it is good that the responsible person with whom I can speak is German.
It is sometimes difficult to find the right activities for the children. This is particularly the case with the mixed group of about ten children, which I sometimes have twice a week. I would like to awaken the interest of each child in the chosen activity, and that activity should be neither too easy for anyone nor too difficult. To achieve this, however, does not seem to be possible – even though I give great care to the planning of the classes. It is important for me that the children enjoy participating in my classes and are happy with the results. In my individual therapy lessons, which I have with six children, I try to have a task that we can continue from week to week. For example with Chakravati, I am working on wooden tags for the keys to all the newly painted therapy rooms. This is a rather long process, beginning with the decision as to the shape of the tags and ending with the choice of the colours to correspond to that of the rooms and then the attaching of the keys.
I am very happy to see how much the children enjoy coming to my classes. Even though it is often quite difficult and strenuous, I like working both with the children and together with the entire DEEPAM team. I look forward to the next six months, to the work at DEEPAM, to the new experience in Auroville, and especially to the journey which I have planned.

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