Three weeks ago Ida and I went to an area called Pillur, a four hour journey by bus from Kotagiri. We were supposed to stay for a week in Keystones resource center by the banks of the Bhavani river but ended up having to leave after only one night. Apparently the forest department does not want foreigners staying inside the reserve forest due to past accidents where tourists have been killed by elephants. The adivasi communities we were there to document all live within the reserve so our complicated relationship with the authorities makes our work impossible to carry out right now.
Anyway, at the moment we are preparing for the Swallows partner meeting which starts Wednesday night. The theme of the meeting is Engendering Mobilization and Sustainable Social Change and Im looking forward to taking part of the different organizations’ perspectives. Around 50 visitors from the various partner organizations in India and Bangladesh will stay in Kotagiri until the beginning of next week. Needless to say we have many practical issues to take care of in order for things to run as smoothly as possible.
Other than that things are much the same here except the weather where the rains have been replaced by dry cool days and bitterly cold nights.