Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hindi Exam and Last Day in Mussoorie

Well, the students are busy taking their final Hindi exam. In the last few days, Ian and I have fielded many panicked questions about vocabulary and grammar. I never thought that I would be teaching people Hindi grammar...Cassidy knows how truly ironic that is. But I think the students will end up doing fine as long as they keep their wits about them.

Tomorrow we head back to Delhi...That means that Ian and I have to pack up the room in which we have stayed for five weeks. It doesn't sound like a long time but we have certainly made ourselves at home. I also want to try to take some pictures of the guest house and what-not that I have been putting off. Mussoorie is a very pretty place; it is just difficult to get a picture of it before the fog moves in. :)

Ian and I will probably be offline until October 10th or so. We have gotten letter writing materials so we will try communicating the "old-fashioned" way. :) When we get to Jaipur I think we will have more regular access to email.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One week left in Mussoorie

Well, we have one week left in the hill station town of Mussoorie. It is amazing how quickly time has passed. The students' Hindi final is on Thursday and they are busy writing a five page paper on the academic material we have covered thus far. In other words, they are miserable. And I must admit, it is no fun for Ian, Lisa and I either. But I think we will prevail as long as the students are able to keep things in perspective.

Ian and I randomly ran into Mather George, a friend of Ian's from the AIIS Language Program, in Mussoorie (some of you met her at our wedding...) She was in the area doing some of her dissertation research, and we have spent several days together. It has been nice to catch up and hang out with a non-program person.

Besides that, not much has been going on. We have to pack up and get ready to head to Delhi. We won't be there very long, and will take side trips to Amritsar Panjab to see the Golden Temple and to Agra to see the Taj and Fatehpur Sikri. After that we are onto points west...10 days in Gujarat and then 1 month in Jaipur. Both Ian and I are looking forward to that part of the trip.

Hope all is going well with you all back home. Keep in touch!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


We are still in Musoorie, and will be for two more weeks. Though it is not a bad place, I am looking forward to heading to Jaipur. I have to hike up a moutain to get anywhere here, and since it is so small I sometimes feel a little trapped.

Not last weekend, but the weekend before we traveled to Vananda Shiva's organic farm outside of Dehra Dun. It was nice to be in the plains again--warm, sunny and flat! It was also interesting to hear about their operation there. They are interested in recovering indigenous/non-hyridized crops and they have a seed cooperative through which farmers can cheaply obtain seeds. I am still a little sceptical about how applicable it might be on a national scale but it was still an interesting trip.

Last week was a little rough for me, since I felt like I didn't really have a place here. All the students were going to either Ian and Lisa, making me feel like sort of a third wheel, but I got over it and things have been better so far this week.
For once, I can say that my Hindi is improving and even Ian has said that I am doing better about talking in Hindi with people. Yea!!!

Last night was Krishna's birthday so we went to two Hindu temples. With twenty white people showing up, we no doubt became the center of attention. At the first temple, they assumed that we were from ISKON (i.e. Hari Krishnas) and at the second temple we were closely observed by all the young women in attendence since some of the women in our program actually wore saris to the function.

This weekend we are traveling to the headwaters of the Yamuna river (Yamunotri). Though it should be an interesting trip, I am not looking forward to six hours in a car, followed by a 4-5 mile hike.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I forgot my cable at home. I am going to try to figure out someway to get pictures off the camera so I can pass them on...Hope all is well with everyone. Please send me news when you can!