BB and SB visit Ponddicherry

Day 12 – 10 March 2009

I crawled downstairs to breakfast at 8.00 – all this rich French food has given me a tummy ache – ironic really given that South Indian food has caused no reaction to my digestive system whatsover. I had a small breakfast and pondered on what this day would bring. I have decided to absent myself from an organised trip to the rain forest – BB and SB are due to arrive here at the Hotel at about 10.30. The weather is cool today – about 23 degrees with a cool breeze blowing off the sea. This is seriously cold for India – and rain as well was well times for the forest visit! It is a national holiday in Tamil Nadu – many of the City’s facilities will be closed today – our bar is closed because of Government regulations.

BB and SB arrived from their respective destinations on public transport from two separate destinations in yet another Pondicherry rain storm. My tummy is now very painful and I have had to use a couple of tablets that I have carrying around with me for the last ten days or so. This efficient concrete mix is possibly now working – but I will play on the safe side and starve myself for the rest of the day. No more French onion soup for me here – and the rum babas are definitely off the menu. I will try to use tonight’s dinner period in my hotel room for quiet reflection before the group’s last formal refection feedback tomorrow morning.

The hotel’s comfortable facilities make a perfect place to do our work. We discuss lots of exciting and interesting ideas – it is really exciting sharing working concepts and strategies in a culture so different to the UK. I will be joining BB again on Thursday at 1000 at the Chennai Green Park Hotel, who have given us “a good deal” for the last two days here.

We shall be holding more meetings then in Chennai. Our first meeting will be with a business consultant working with third sector agencies including social enterprises in Chennai. She has long experience in this field. It is not all work and no play on my last day – I am keeping some time free for getting my laundry done, do some shopping, have a swim / body massage at the Hotel and maybe do even more shopping. Being a shopaholic I cannot possibly face being deprived of this last minute luxury. Today none of the interesting shops are open because it is a Indian National holiday. My last meeting will be at the Chennai Hotel over Dinner with an auditor and lawyer at 1900 before jumping on an Air France plane at 0230 and heading back home. In truth I cannot wait to be in the comfort of my own home.

This week has gone quickly and I feel so much has been learned from both my fellow travellers and from people with whom we have been privileged to meet along the way. I will try and post details of the rural project which I sadly missed today to keep my record complete – I am sure that the “UnLtd designated blogger” will let me add her words onto the AUK site or if readers really want to read more about this ecology project in the rain forest then they can go to the web page that includes our daily journey. Some of the daily blogs are excellent – meatier than my own way of recording here.

I will miss the immaculate laundry service – I have always ridiculed friends who iron their boxer shorts and socks! I am old enough to have experienced this old way of life – before adulthood – and I seriously doubt if I will ever see these old fashioned ways of returning. Because of my dodgy tummy I am having an early night tonight – I will watch an exciting test match (cricket) and catch up on my sleeping. I am physically and emotionally shattered and readyfor my bed !

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