India - Amy Manning

Amy shares with us a selection of her journal entries from her Study Abroad in India this past summer:

India  Amy Manning in Pune, India   Snake Charmers

May 7, 2007
India is HOT!  We went for a walk in the middle of the day yesterday: not a good idea!  We learned very quickly that it is wise to wait until 5 or 6 in the evening, when it finally cools down to only 105 degrees.  Unfortunately, this only leaves us a few hours to explore the city, because we have a 10:30 curfew every night.  On the bright side, due to jet lag, most of us wake up around 5:30 as the sun rises, which leaves us several hours to do homework outside or go for a walk while it is still cool. 

May 16, 2007
So after about two weeks in India, I’m almost completely used to the staring.  As it turns out, there are very few Westerners in Pune, and it is especially unusual to see the seven of us traveling together in one big American pack.  And people in India aren’t shy about staring, either; they have no problem with turning around completely in their seats and gawking for upwards of two or three minutes at a time.  People also love to get their pictures taken with us; usually they gather their entire family for a photo with the Americans, have us hold hands with their children, and are as excited as if they had just met a celebrity!

May 19, 2007
We spent today visiting several caves a few hours’ drive outside Pune.  They were carved out of stone by Buddhist monks, mostly between 300 B.C. and 600 A.D.  The hike was hot, although not that long, and the various chambers, prayer rooms, and meditation rooms were fun to explore.  However, I think the visits would have been significantly more pleasant if the locals did not use the meditation rooms as restrooms and occasionally cut large amounts of hair and leave it as an offering.  On the bright side, we got to see monkeys that lived near the caves, and take lots of pictures of people feeding them.  I attempted to feed one of them, but I was apparently not his favorite person, as he didn’t take the food but instead gave my hand a rather beastly slap and growled at me.

May 28, 2007
So everybody back home keeps asking me if I’ve ridden an elephant yet, and I can finally say yes!  When I went out with my friend today, we found an elephant walking down the side of the road, and stopped and I got a ride.  It was a very interesting experience to be riding an elephant down the road with cars going by at its feet.  To get on and off, the elephant has to lay down, which is accomplished by a man bouncing on its neck.  Another man then loops its tail up and you have to basically scale its back, using its tail and some rope to pull yourself up or let yourself down.  Last week, I got to ride a camel, which was very cool also, but a little uncomfortable.  It was like riding a horse, only higher up and not quite so smooth.  The elephant, on the other hand, was quite comfortable; I think I could get used to using it as a method of transportation.

Study Abroad Students w/ Yatin Bhagwat  Taj Mahal  Study Abroad Group

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Page last modified November 16, 2007