Friday, December 31, 2010

"I'm stuck between a goat and a rickshaw"

...said Anna this afternoon when we told her to catch up to us while heading to the post office. While there we made a friend, who was absolutely delighted by my digital camera and posed for several photos with us. While on the way back, we stopped for a visit at a buddhist temple and then haggled with (and lost) a rickshaw driver who didnt like the price we suggested.

Our new friend at the post office

Buddhist Temple in Sarnath

This is a rickshaw...Not the one Anna was stuck behind though.


More soon! stay tuned...

You know you're a tourist when...

A Hindi family asks you to be in a picture with thier toddler. This was communicated entirely in hand gestures, and was a little frightening until we realized what they wanted. It became clear when the father pulled the camera out and pointed to an empty seat next to the child and motioned for us to sit. It was clearly a "baby's first white person" picture. Hilarious.

Carli and I ventured off on our own into Sarnath to do a little shopping yesterday afternoon. We came across a Buddhist Stoopa, used for prayer walking.

We also went to the a local silk shop and were promptly taken advantage of by paying double for a few items (we found this out after returning to the university). It was late when we left the shop and had gotten dark, so we took a rickshaw back to CUTS. For those of you who don't know, a rickshaw is a bicycle with a carraige (sort of) attached to the back. The driver sang to us all the way back to the school.

Last night before bed we rehearsed our performance fo the New Years Eve party we will be attending this evening. We have choreographed a number to Lady Gaga and based on the rehearsal last night, will be a riot. Perhaps I will post some photos...or even a video!
Hope you're all well... Heres some more photos:

The courtyard of the Library at CUTS

At the phone stand down the street, next to the Chai stand

The Buddhist stoopa I told you about


This is where I am staying, the girl's hostel. And mom, its gated in, and theres a curfew. 8pm.

Carli in our bedroom. Thos are mosquito nets the girls put up for us. So thoughtful...

On Campus

I love this tree.

I hope you are all well, and that you have a happy and SAFE New Years Eve.

All my love,

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sarnath Medical Clinic

This morning's outing included a visit to the clinic where we were given a tour and then sat in on some patients being treated. We plan to go back on Monday and volunteer.

Tibetan Health Clinic

Delicious...(How do you turn the pics right-side-up?)

 There will be 50,000 people here at CUTS the second week of January for the Dalai Lama's teaching on Buddhist theory. The staff are building a gigantic tent to house the crowd.

Those kettles are for Chai... I think.

The Tibetan Herb Garden

Our plans for the evening include consulting with a Tibetan Student who is fluent in English on our project and then heading to a local silk shop. Later this evening a yoga class is being offered and then the girls and I will relax and hopefully meet some more of the Tibetan students here on campus.

Love you all :)


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The journey begins...

Logan, waiting out the storm...

Frankfurt Germany. Thank God for cots.

Buddhist World Center in Delhi

Indian Customs...

Buddhist World Center, (overnight stay...very tired and slaphappy)

The streets of Varanasi

Note the mounds on the brick wall...

After a 2 day travel period, me and the girls arrived safely at the CUTS. The University is really beautiful and the rest of the people from both Australia and the US program are amazing. The medical students and I are going to a hospital/Maternity ward today to ask about volunteer opportunities while we wait for IRB here at CUTS to convene and decide whether or not we may administer our survey.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

...And Mother Nature throws a curve ball

A Blizzard Warning has been issued for the New York metro area, including northeastern New Jersey, and coastal Connecticut, plus all of Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, coastal New Hampshire and coastal Maine. Cities included in this warning are New York City, Newark, N.J., Hartford, Conn., Providence, R.I., Boston, and Portland, Maine. 

The heaviest snowfall amounts will fall in Boston, where 20 to 25 inches of the white stuff could be found. Further south 8 to 16 inches will be common near New York City while the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, Delmarva Peninsula and Philadelphia metro area will see 6 to 10 inches of snow
The storm is likely to create massive travel headaches for the busy post-Christmas travel period. Amtrak has already cancelled most trains running south of Washington, D.C., for Sunday, and numerous flights across the Mid-Atlantic have already been cancelled. Check with your carrier if you have travel plans for Sunday or Monday.

My flight is scheduled to leave at 4:15pm tomorrow. Stay tuned...This should be good.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Information about the University

This is the school I will be teaching at for the next month...

The Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS) was envisioned by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru in consultation with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama with a view to educate the youths of Tibet and the Himalayan border region.
Established in 1967, CIHTS initially functioned as a special constituent wing of Sampurnananda Sanskrit University, Varanasi. The Govt. of India declared the Institute to be a "Deemed to be a University" on 5th April, 1988. Until 2000, the Institute was headed by Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche, the now Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile. The Institute is currently headed by Geshe Ngawang Samten and is ably assisted by learned faculty members in achieving its goal of excellence in the field of Tibetology, Buddhology and Himalayan Studies.
CIHTS is also a premier Research Institute, with a substantial staff of research scholars and many visitors from other academic Institutions in India and from around the world. It provides a platform for interaction between Buddhist and non-Buddhist Indian philosophical schools; between Buddhist and Western Philosophers; and between Buddhist scholars and scientists.
The National Assessment and Accredition Council accredited CIHTS with 5 Stars which is the highest grading of quality assurance after assessing the academic standard of the Institute by a peer team of experts. It is the only university institution in Varanasi, and one of the two in the entire of Northern India, to recieve the highest grading.
The CIHTS campus occupies 22 acres and houses Shantarakshita Library, hostels for students, classrooms, assembly halls, quarters for staff and so forth. It is beautifully landscaped and offers a very peaceful place for study and research.

The Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies is located in Sarnath, approximately 10km (6m) from the city of Varanasi (Banares) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Sarnath is one of the four principal Buddhist pilgrimage sites, being the location of Buddha Shakyamuni's first teaching after gaining enlightenment. It contains important sacred and archeological sites and an excellent archaelogical museum as well as Buddhist temples representing many Buddhist traditions.

Mission Statement
The objectives of the Institute have been carefully thought out by eminent scholars in the Indian Goverment under the guidance of His Holiness Dalai Lama. The objectives are:
  • To preserve the Tibetan culture and tradition (via CIHTS Educational System)
  • To restore ancient Indian sciences and literature preserved in the Tibetan Language, but lost in the original (via Research Department)
  • To offer an alternative educational facility to students of Indian border areas who formerly availed the opportunity of recieving higher education in Tibet.
  • To accomplish gains of teaching and scope of research in traditional subjects in a framework of the modern university system of education with the provision for award of degrees in Tibetan studies.

Also... Check out this link for more information/pics on the surrounding area

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hi Everyone!

I just created this blog page so I can share my life with the people I love while I'm away. I will be blogging as much as I can while at the institute (including photos!), so stay tuned... If you want to be notified each time I post something, subscribe to this blog.

All my love,