Permaculture Workshop with Rico - part 1

Yet another long weekend was just around the corner and for a change there were so many plans floating around. I had almost decided to spend three days at Kodaikanal when I came across this blog posting about Rico's permaculture workshop at Mysore. I decided to try my luck and called up Ameli and to my surprise there was a vacancy! I dropped out of the Kodai trip and confirmed my participation. Thats how I met Pooja, Roopa and Deepak as we traveled together to Mysore that Friday morning. I am glad that I took the decision, the experience was "fantabulacious" for lack of a better word.

Rico is a Permaculture evangelist who travels across India teaching people the beauty of permanent and sustainable agriculture, and in his own words "consciously trying to be culturally appropriate, and not even coming closer". An individual driven by passion, who spends seven months an year at Darjeeling and south India, far away from him home at New Mexico. An excellent communicator who talks about the beauty of fire, US economic system and the fun of sniffing around for the urinal in an Indian city, in the same animated way, the trademark 'Rico-Dance'. He is equally proud of his Mac and spares no opportunity to lash out at the inefficiencies of PC and the ruthless capitalism that it symbolizes.

The group was small but had some terrific people from across the globe. Deepak owns a software company which works in the M-commerce space and also owns a piece of land in Coorg. Roopa is a yoga instructor who is in the process of setting up a yoga school in her waterfront property at Srirangapatnam. Pooja is an architect who works on eco-friendly projects who carries around a Canon EOS 350D wherever she goes. Russel is from New Zealand, a retired carpenter who is but busy with his garden in California. Yara is from Brazil, who is on her trip to discover India, currently learning yoga and flute at Mysore. Bala is an architect, who works for a software company, and is about to start his project of developing an eco-friendly village. Nayana is a doctor by profession, but has found her passion in working on her farm at Srirangapatnam. Lee is from Manchester, but considers Mexico his home, when he is not traveling to India or Thailand, learning yoga and meditation. Prithwi is from Pune, passionate about agriculture, educated at Purdue, having his own farm for the last 16 years, a visiting professor at B-Schools and also running a consultancy business. Ameli is a US national, practitioner of various alternate healing therapies, who is settled in a beautiful property in Mysore, where we all gathered for the workshop.

In short, I was the only one who had nothing hands-own to do with agriculture or land.. all I have is a bunch of dreams. But it was such a pleasure to be with such passionate people, listening to their experiences, basking in the realization that my ideas weren't that Utopian and impractical after all. Its a great inspiration to see and interact with some people who have already walked the path.

So when Rico started the session that morning with the statement "Teaching is a fallacy", I knew things are only gonna get better from there.

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