Big blessings come in small packages and that is the truth when it comes to Anandi Vaithialing. I want to share a story about this amazing and inspiring individual that I met while I was working at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona. Anandi was part of the Spring 2008 raw foods chef training apprenticeship program. She had made her way all the way from Auroville, India on the other side of the globe. When Anandi arrived I was working in the cafe at the Tree of Life as a chef and instructor. Physically, Anandi is tiny, literally 4 foot something tall and all of 80 pounds… if that. Her presence and radiance goes beyond physical appearances though. In that regard she’s a giant. Her love and glowing smiling cannot be contained, deflected or avoided; it’s pervasive and contagious. I remember the first hug she gave me, how she wrapped her hands around my waist and squeezed the life into me. Anandi introduced me and many of the people at Tree of Life to the intentional city and community of Auroville, India. Here’s a description of Auroville take from their website:
“Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.”
Several years have passed since I left Tree of Life and since Anandi graduated from the apprenticeship. We have stayed in touch and I was happy to hear about the fund raising project she began to bring a raw food center to Auroville. Construction began on the project back in April of 2009. At this time the grand opening is scheduled for February 21st of 2011. Though the date is set, they still need funds. Earlier in 2010 I attempted to donate to the project through Paypal but due to Homeland Security and the fear that fundraising projects may be terrorist schemes, the transaction did not go through. Anandi and Auroville did not give up and they have set up a fundraising donation page through razoo.com. I encourage you to consider donating to this noble endeavor and sharing the donation link with all your family and friends. If they are unfamiliar with raw foods please get them up to speed or refer them to this vegan raw food information link. Folks that donate $1000 or more are considered “Founders”. Being a “Founder” has its privileges…
You are invited to contribute a thousand dollars or more which qualifies you as a founder. In addition, I would also like to offer you a tasty incentive: you will be able to eat in this restaurant at any time during the rest of your life for half price. Now that is an offer which nobody would refuse! As a founder, you will never need any identification because your name will be carved in stone at the door!
I will send everyone who makes a donation a pdf copy of my raw food memoir recipe book Zen and the Art of Gadgeting – Just send me an email after you donate and I’ll hook you up! -livefoodexperience(at)live(dot)com-