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Nov 19, 2019

This is happening tomorrow!

Tomorrow, the Chief Resilience Officer of Chennai is visiting the Language Lab building along with a team from the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, USA  (google that!).

The AARFRC recently formed the Cooler Cities Action Initiative, a program seeking to focus and accelerate proactive decision making, cooling interventions and investment at the community level to address the sometimes-lethal – and increasingly severe – problem of extreme heat in cities, particularly for those most vulnerable. The initiative is comprised of a set of partners including city Chief Resilience Officers, humanitarian NGOs, insurance industry representatives, and other practitioners in the climate risk, finance and resilience space. This visit is to firm up on their overall strategy for India and to explore activating a pipeline of projects and activities to raise awareness and spur behavior change among at-risk communities; implementing “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects (e.g., cooler roofs, green/garden roofs, cool pavements, and urban forests and green spaces); and deploying a progressive risk pool (or "captive"), risk transfer & investment approach to financing life-saving evidence-based cooling interventions.

The AARFRC team includes : The Director of the AARFRC at the Atlantic Council, the Director, Humanitarian Initiative, the Associate Director, as well as an author and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine.

The 100 RC team includes : The India Strategy Head, a Lead Researcher, Okapi/IIT(M) as well as the CRO, Chennai. 


In the morning, they will be visiting the Auroville Building Centre and then going around Auroville to visit a few Auroville projects, including the Solar Bowl.  They will come to the Language Lab after lunch. 

Our program looks like this :

2:30-3:30 : Presentation and tour of the Building, esp system of cooling without air-conditioning, lime, cool-roof lime coating,  vaastu, Electromagnetic Compliance,  wastewater recycling system, etc (me)
3:30-4:00 : One of our consultants will present on lime as a building material and will share the details of her study of the use of lime in our building and another:  "Use of Lime Mortar and Post-Occupancy Thermal Performance Analysis of Buildings".  She'll also share the findings from her other study on Climate-Responsive architecture. And speak about a cost-effective experiment on rooftop gardening.
4:00-4:30 : Presentation on the Use of Probiotics in our building and numerous advantages of Probiotics.  Unfortunately, our two consultants can’t make it tomorrow but we have permission to show their presentation on Probiotics in building construction and we have a film as well about the use of probiotics in our building.
Will use the occasion also to launch our Fundraising Appeal for Giving Tuesday (Dec 03rd) to help us complete the building.  You'll be hearing about this very soon!  We believe a ton of people, giving small amounts - just because you - our friends - ask them, will help us reach the goal!
So, think of us tomorrow and wish us luck! We'll share pics!
Much love,
Nov 5, 2019

Building Update

Briefly, folks :

We didn't receive your donation yet!  Ever since the project went Live, GG (GlobalGiving) had major problems in its disbursements to India.  These have actually been stopped until they sort out the problem.

Don't worry!  We've worked out a "fiscal sponsorship" agreement with AVI-USA, so that GG will transfer your (and any future) donations to AVI-USA, which will forward it to the Auroville Unity Fund for us.

We're hoping to get your first monies for the Building real soon!

Stuff on the anvil and ready to start : the flooring in my office and the room next to it, and the upstairs toilets. 

And we're also planning to make the first shaft.  

We'll keep you updated.

Meanwhile, please spread the word to your friends, family, colleagues about the project!  Now that the funds bottleneck has been solved, let the taps flow!

Let's complete this marvelous building asap!


Tapas and Mita

for the Team of Auroville Language Lab.

PS : On November 20th, the Chief Resilience Officer of Chennai will bring a whole team from the Cooler Cities Action Initiative of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre, and the 100 Resilient Cities network to visit our building!  

We'll take them on a tour of the building and present all of its special features : the system of cooling without air-conditioning, lime, the cool-roof lime coating, vaastu, electromagnetic compliance, waste water recycling system, solar system, second-hand wood, etc. An Aurovilian architect friend whose research paper about our building was published in an Elsevier Journal on Building, will present on that paper and the advantages of lime.  And our two dear friends from the Auroville Probiotics House will present on the use of probiotics in our building, and the numerous advantages of probiotics in building construction.

One of the visiting team is a contributing editor to Rolling Stones magazine, so let's see if that visit gets us some coverage and helps get the message out!

PPS : We've also been doing a lot of tree planting around the building!  And our vortex which cleans the waste water for reuse is working perfectly now.

Oct 30, 2019

Results from the First GG Women's English Group

Passive Phase Listening
Passive Phase Listening

Hello all!

How time flies!

Our first GlobalGiving Women's English group has finished its Tomatis program.  They did the 40 hours passive and 30 hours active program of listening training, just as stated in our project proposal.  All reported a greater understanding of English, as well as less hesitation in speaking, more ease or flow of the language, and more confidence.

Maybe you can evaluate this yourselves?  Have a look at these Before and After videos and tell us what you think.  What do you hear and observe? Do you see any changes?  Please share your observations/thoughts!

M Video -

Unfortunately, due to the startup difficulties, only two of the four took the Language Lab's English level test before starting the program, in the middle, and after finishing.  But those tests - mainly grammar tests - revealed an improvement of 50%.  Which is amazing, considering the fact that everyone thinks one has to have classes specifically on grammar in order to learn it. Whereas, the 50% improvement was due only to the listening training, with no grammar classes at all!

Three of them followed up the program by joining English classes with a teacher in our Tomatis classroom.  (One could not due to work commitments).  The youngest just joined college.  Another qualified to start the process of joining Auroville as a "Newcomer".  The third is making progress writing emails, required by her job.  We will keep following them to see how they progress and what they need.  More individual sessions reading out loud with a teacher will definitely help further.

Meanwhile, it has been difficult to create another group to follow the first one.  We realize that actually, developing the project as we originally conceived it, requires one person dedicated only to the project, who can do the legwork required to spread the word to women.  It is true that we get a lot more men than women coming to the Lab on their own.  So reaching out to women, requires a woman dedicated to the task!  Inundated with so many different tasks and work, including our commitment to the daily programs for children with special needs (autism spectrum, learning disorders, developmental delays, etc), and so much work related to the Auroville collectivity in the last few months, there was very little time to do this PR work and reach out in the way the project requires.  But it is our Commitment, and we will keep it! 

The project requires new energy! Actually, we had depended on one of our wonderful women assistants to anchor this project.  But her maternity leave extended (3 months have turned into 11). We miss her terribly, but life circumstances got in the way!  She promises now to be back in January.  In the meantime, we'll reach out to the pool of Auroville volunteers for a Tamil-speaking woman to work either full-time or at least half time.  We have been praying for that angel to arrive soon!  As of yesterday, we might just have found someone who can lead us to her!  We'll keep you posted!

Drawing/Artwork is an essential element
Drawing/Artwork is an essential element
Time for self-expression through painting!
Time for self-expression through painting!
Active Phase - Perfect listening posture!
Active Phase - Perfect listening posture!
Exercising the Audio-Vocal Loop!
Exercising the Audio-Vocal Loop!
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