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India – Spring 2007

Journal 16

We arrived at Vijnana Kala Vedi where we will spend our last three weeks in India. It is a cultural center where you can take classes in different aspects on Indian culture such as music, art, dance, martial arts, cooking, language, etc. Vijnana Kala Vedi was established in 1977 by a woman from France. She wanted tourists to understand and really appreciate the Indian culture. The center is in the little town of Aranmula.

When we first pulled in, my first thought was, “Wow, it’s kind of small, are we going to fit?” Then I found out there were actually five different buildings. The females are staying in the main office / guest house while the guys are in a classroom / guest house. Kim and Bob are staying with their children in another guest house.

We started classes right away on Monday, March 26th. Our group will study Hindi, which is two hours a day, and a psychology class taught by Kim. Then, we were able to choose another class. We are all studying a variety of things. Some of us are taking cooking or painting while others are taking yoga or martial arts while still others are taking woodcarving, dance, singing, drumming, or face painting. Classes seem like they will be fun. Hindi will be challenging since we only have three weeks to read, write, and understand it. However, I have really enjoyed it so far. It is so nice to finally begin to understand the script we have been surrounded by for the past three months. Even though the English language is fairly well known here, Hindi is used all the time and not everyone can speak English. It is a little disappointing that we won’t be able to use our Hindi more. However, for now it’s exciting to be able to look at a sign or billboard and read it.

India has been such an amazing and growing experience. It is exciting because you never know what is going to happen next. God has taught me so much while I have been in India. He has given us strength and protection and He has truly blessed us. I pray that God continues to reveal himself to us these last three weeks.

- Lena Risser