Sunday, May 28, 2006


By train and boat, Transit-ion afoot....

Click here for the latest article in the Daily Reflector!

We are now in Varanasi, and there is some complication with me using my trusy USB drive to post photos. So I'll post them when I can. But we are all well.

We took a late night train from Mahoba (the closest train station to Khajuraho) to Varanasi and rode in sleeper cars. It was nearly 2 a.m., by the time we boarded the train and promptly fell asleep in our compartments. It looks impossibly small at first for eight people per pod to sleep but we were all pretty comfortable. In the morning, we played a range of games: cards, Travel Scrabble (Nathan won), chess and checkers.

We took a sunrise boat ride along the Ganges River yesterday morning in Varanasi. It was a stunning array of colors along the ghats (steps that lead to the river). There are dozens of ghats in Varanasi and each one has its own function along the river. Hindus from all over India come to visit the Ganges and to bathe in it. Even though our group is interested in fully experiencing India and all of its religious traditions, none of us was willing to bathe in its sacred but dirty waters.

We visited Sarnath, a place where the real Buddha gave his first teaching after enlightenment.

Varanasi is home to beautiful textiles and music. We found a ery good shop near where we are staying at the Assi Ghat. For the past two nights we have enjoyed classical Indian music concerts, and a few of the students have taken lessons in tablas or sitar or flute or voice. A few have even taken the plunge and bought some rather large, um, instruments. I can't wait to see how they transport.

We leave for Bodh Gaya tomorrow... can't wait! I may post a few photos later if I can...


I am really enjoying reading the weekly articles in The Daily Reflector. When I read about our ECU students experiencing different cultures that make them see first hand how a majority of the world's population live - and how different that is from life in America - I am very proud and hopeful that these students will make a difference and share their insights with their peers here in America when they return. it is so important in this global society that we learn how to better apportion the world's resources: and to discover that true happiness doesn't come from the rampant consumerism and materialistic values promoted by the American culture. Keep up the good work and I look forward to your return to G'Vegas!!
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