ECU Summer Study Abroad India 2011

This is The Study Abroad group Blog for East Carolina Universities Summer Study Abroad program to India 2011. Join us on our journey!

Ask me anything
10:37 AM
June 14th, 2011

Pictures Taken and Posted by: Sarah Hardison

10:17 AM
June 14th, 2011

Pictures Taken and Posted by:  Sarah Hardison

10:12 AM
June 14th, 2011

Home again…

I am glad to be home again and am so thankful that I have had the pleasure of traveling with such and awesome group.  I would like to extend my best regards to Derek Maher and Wes for making this trip such an incredible and life changing experience.  I did not post much text on the blog while abroad, but I am often a person of few words.  I always have lived by the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words and I hope that the pictures I have been able to share spoke to everyone while we were away.  I shared a limited amount of pictures online due to time during traveling.  Now that I am home I am working on getting these pictures to everyone via a slide show to be shared among the group and to others upon request.

I will send DVDS to everyone in the group who traveled as well as a few extra to Derek when I finish them to be shared as he sees fit. 

Thank you everyone for being a part of the past few life changing weeks.  Good luck and keep in touch. 

Sarah Hardison

10:04 AM
June 14th, 2011

Tong-Len Hostel

Pictures Taken and Posted by:  Sarah Hardison

9:10 AM
June 10th, 2011

It was pretty awesome returning to Delhi with a little more experience under our belts. The first time we were there, we were all intimidated by the chaos and high temperatures of the air. With extra rupees to spend, we all set out for a final day of shopping. This time none of us were nervous to argue over getting a fair price, the shop owners still thought we were all fresh off the plane- boy were they wrong! Most of us were able to cut prices down by about 75% and be confident in the process. 

A few bumps in security in Delhi for some people, but over all I say we all made it home safely and smoothly. It’s hard to believe just a month ago we were all anxiously preparing for take off. Despite the few tense moments that come with 18 different personalities spending every moment together, I can honestly say we had an amazing group of people along for the ride. The strangest things about returning home have to be the ability to turn on the faucet and use the water for anything I choose… not having to worry about have a bottle of “mineral water” beside me at all times.

India opened my eyes in so many more ways than I ever imagined possible. I hope everyone who went took something from the trip, I know I look at so many things differently now that I am home. Yeah, I am already looking forward to a reunion in the fall, and seeing the thousands of pictures we all snapped. 


7:32 AM
June 10th, 2011

Finally Home

Finally back in the good ol’ US of A. However, it has been a long time coming. Starting from McLeod Ganj it was another day-long trip out of the mountains to get down to Delhi. However, this time, the drive was broken up by a trip to Amritsar and the Golden Temple. This temple is the “Mecca” of the Sikhs, so it was very cool to go to a city like that and experience a completely different kind of religion than we have up to this point. Many people really liked Amritsar and the traditions of the Sikhs. For example, one thing that I thought was really cool was how men are allowed to carry swords, daggers, and spears as part of their religion. Another interesting part of Sikhism is the intricate way of rapping their turbans.

When we finally got back to Delhi, we all went into shopping mode, to spend our last rupees. It was great to see all the cool things that people bought at the last minute.

Overall India was a great experience that I really enjoyed. I want to thank everyone on the trip for making it so much fun and everyone at home for keeping up with our blog. All I can say now is it’s good to be home.


6:41 AM
June 8th, 2011

going back to whence we came

Everything is packed, and I am thinking about the flight home, and planning my next trip!  I will be happy to see friends, but I am never really eager to return to the US.  On the other hand though, I know that all good things must come to an end, and I welcome change in whatever form it comes.  On to another chapter in all of our lives!

4:45 AM
June 8th, 2011

Final Countdown

Hello Followers!!!

We are in Delhi once again and it does not feel the same. With our departure hours away it is hard to say we are leaving. As we slow down we get a chance to reflect on our adventure here and remember the amazing things we have seen and the amazing people we have met. I have grown to love all of those in this group (even though we have had our hard times) and grown to appriciate what we have everyday. My dad always said it was the small things in life that you must appriciate and it is exactly that which makes India special to me.

The Taj was great, the Ganga was amazing, even the Himilayas were intimidating but it is the honking of horns, the crowded streets, and the friendly environment that I will miss most of all! Though I am ready to go home a part of me will stay in India and with this group of brilliant individuals!

Much love,

Matthew Lovelace

12:25 AM
June 7th, 2011


Getting the obvious things out of the way… The streets are crowded and narrow, There is a lot of Tibetan influence, The weather is much cooler, the altitude makes it hard to breath, and both Indian tourists and foreigners abound.

Tong-Len does lasting work, both in the slums and in the hostels. The kids are for the most part ambitious and about as studious as they can be given the resources available, and the program has no sign of stopping as it is raising a generation of comparatively well educated boys and girls. Tibetan and Kashmir noodle shops are very common here and are delicious and cheap. The mutton and chicken is spicy and delicious, but problems can occur(which may very well still be worth it). The entire town is built around tourism and of course has many accommodations for us westerners. Many locals speak English, and the Tibetans themselves are friendly towards westerners and often know more English than Hindi, and even the dogs here are friendly(a big change from the rough and tumble Delhi street dogs). Tibetan band members that play a strange and, actually good, mix of modern western and classical Tibetan music, and they hang out on doorsteps in cool western clothing that you would imagine some indie rocker in the states to wear. The town is a little more expensive than other parts of India because of the tourists, but overall it is still very cheap.There is no shortage of older Tibetan values however, as monks are almost as populous here as the tourists!

I am happy to be staying in India for a little extra time, if only for a measly two weeks. I feel sorry for the group members that want to stay but can’t, and John and I send our regards from  Dharmsala. I know I will miss many of you, and I can’t thank Dr. Maher, Wes, and the group enough for this experience.


3:00 PM
June 6th, 2011
This is a photo from our audience with His Holiness Gyelwa Karmapa this morning.  He is the second most prominent Tibetan lama after the Dalai Lama. 
Posted by Derek Maher

This is a photo from our audience with His Holiness Gyelwa Karmapa this morning.  He is the second most prominent Tibetan lama after the Dalai Lama. 

Posted by Derek Maher