This is a photo of the sign of the place where me and my studyin' cohorts spent more or less the first week of November. CESCI (The Center for Experiencing Socio-Cultural Interaction) is a retreat and training center for Gandhian Activists. CESCI was founded and funded by a Swiss woman named Maja Koene in the early 90's. She lived and did social work here for several years before she died. CESCI is a beautiful site surrounded by paddy fields and villages about 20km outside of Madurai. It takes about an hour to bike there from the UW Program House, two hours if you stop to take pictures of interesting insects and plants along the way.
In the Gandhian Activist off-season, the retreat and training center allows folks like us to stay. Luckily Rachel and Sekar have the connections and know how to organize such a visit. We (me and the foresaid studyin' cohorts) utilized CESCI as our central headquarters for the week. We ate there and slept over, the whole bit. Each morning we biked out to different villages and talk to local folks as a kind of introduction to fieldwork research (much more on my village, Vembarali later). We had the afternoons free and most evenings had a planned lecture or activity. The relaxing week provided exactly the reflection time my over-stimulated brain needed. I hope you enjoy the photos I took while I was there.
For more information about CESCI:
New Natam Road
Kadavur, Chithirapatti (PO.)
Madurai 625 014
Tamil Nadu, INDIA
fax #0452-878359