Landed in Pune on Sunday after an exhausting series of flights from Bishkek. Moscow airport is the pits - all the more ironic considering all the buzz about BRIC and the super luxury brands advertised and on sale.
Pune is a nice place, reminds me so much of Sri Lanka as well as the other places I've been in India. I'm in a shady, green area on Prabhat Road, the flat is two lanes down from the Lend-A-Hand India office.
No water since I arrived - on the fourth floor, which is the maximum number of storeys one can build before installing an elevator. After several days of this my landlady apologetically explained that there just was not enough pressure to send water through my taps. Ah well, back to bathing off one bucket of water - good for the environment (and the back and leg muscles from the carrying) if nothing else. Think this may be better than moving into the hotel nearby - at least this way I can cook myself a humble dinner of instant noodles once in a while.
Went to Vigyan Ashram yesterday - beautiful countryside, hard to believe that's what a rain shadow looks like, though it's the rainy season these days. Met a successful graduate of the DBRT program (class of 1986) in the village of Pabal just before we went to VA.
Had a scenic picnic lunch on a hillock just outside the compound - the same that everyone at the Ashram has (delicious chapati, rice and curries) - with some of the instructors. They fed a dog and crow that didn't try to sneak off with our food but waited patiently for the hand outs.
Met Mrs. Kalbag, widow of Dr. Kalbag - a very calm and philosphical encounter. Today I leave in the evening with Yogesh Kulkarni, now head of VA, on a seat-of-the-pants field trip to Yavatmal. Return on Saturday morning.
Love the food though - Pulaos, all kinds of curries... yumm... off to lunch now! :-)