30 March 2011

Good News!

Sometimes, despite my efforts to keep up with the digital renaissance, I forget what wonderful things are available on the Internet.  Case in point: I own this beautiful book, the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to India.  The book is an excellent resource for travel in India, and it has certainly proven useful and likely will prove useful when I am in India.  However, the section on Dharamsala itself is short, of course, since India is a large and diverse country.  Today I found Wikitravel, a project to create a "free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guide."  So far Wikitravel has 24,659 destination guides written and edited by travelers from around the globe.  First of all, what a great idea!  Second of all, I love the Internet!

Here's the email I wrote to my parents about this good news:
Hey mom and dad,

I was browsing the internet today and I found this wonderful online travel guide for Dharamsala!  I thought you might be interested in seeing it since I will be living in this town for nearly the entire summer.  I got really excited (especially reading about the food!) (and then reading about the PRICES of that food!) (and then reading about the TWO FRENCH RESTAURANTS!!) and so I thought you might like to see what I'll be up to this summer :)

I also got excited when I followed the suggestion on the guide to look up the Dalai Lama's schedule, which I have done.  As it turns out, he will be teaching about Buddhism in the Dharamsala TCV school (the very one that I will be visiting!) on the 3rd and 4th of June.  He'll also be teaching at the main Tibetan temple June 28th and 29th.  Obviously, since I respect Tibetans and their beliefs, I will not be present at the TCV teaching if it is not appropriate.  I am not a Buddhist or a TCV student, so it may be that I am not invited.  But I think there's a chance, especially because my contacts in the TCV are so kind to me, that I could be in the same room as the Dalai Lama and hear his teachings about Buddhism!  Isn't that basically the greatest thing you've ever heard?!

Also, the picture of the waterfall is not even the first beautiful picture of a waterfall I've seen from the Dharamsala area, so I have a feeling that I will be doing lots of hiking this summer :)

I love you both; thanks for being my parents.

Kristen Nicole
Until now, my dominant feelings about my field study have been stress and anxiety.  Maybe that's a bad sign.  However, I am genuinely excited about these things I just learned, and I'm still hopeful that this field study is a good idea for me. 

Thank you, Wikitravel!

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