Hello everyone! We are busy preparing for our journey to India and we are all excited to share our experience with you! Be sure to check the Reflections page (found on the left side of this page) for daily updates of our journey. We will also add pictures to the Pictures folder as time and Internet connections permit.
We Want to Hear From You!
Unfortunately, we are unable to create a "Comments" page directly on this website. However, you will be able to post comments on our photos on the Flickr page! Feel free to leave us a message or comment by viewing one of the photos and posting a comment on the Flickr website. We hope that you will continue to post comments, as we enjoy hearing from our friends and family back home! Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you soon!
About the Journey
In January 2012, a group of Professional Counseling students will be making a two-week journey to northern India with Dr. Charles Lindsey. The purpose of this course is to explore and experience first-hand the mental health, spiritual, and social justice concerns that currently exist within Indian society. These include, but are not limited to: the effects of being the world’s largest democracy with a population of 1.2 billion people; ongoing struggles with neighbors such as Pakistan and China; concerns of modern India operating on an ancient social caste system; the effects of poverty on mental health and wellness; women’s issues, particularly around civil and reproductive rights; and the impact of the current political and cultural climate on the children of India. Students will also have numerable opportunities to engage in a variety of service learning and volunteer activities during this two-week journey as a means of further broadening their experiences and understandings of counseling and mental health practices within Indian culture.
Pre-departure meetings - Jan. 2, 4, and 6, 2012
This will be our preparation time in Oshkosh. Class activities will include an overview of our time and further details on each portion of our journey, information about cultural and societal pieces, preparation for giving back to and involvement with the places we are visiting, and final preparations.
Updated itinerary India, January 2012 (updated 12/30/11)
PRFL CNSL 724 – Counseling, Culture, & Spirituality in India
Jan 2,4,6 – This will be our preparation time in Oshkosh. We will meet each of these days from 1000am – 200pm in Clow 11.
Sat. Jan 7 – Students will gather on-campus (Long-term parking Lot #6 – Pearl & Osceola) at approximately 910am to take a Kobussen Bus from Oshkosh to O’Hare. Bus will leave at 920am! We will take AA flight 292 from Chicago to Delhi, departing approximately 340pm.
Sun. Jan 8 – We will arrive in Delhi, India approximately 545pm where Dr. Tulsi will anxiously be awaiting our group! We will then locate our transportation and head to our hotel (Rockland Inn – http://rocklandinn.com) for some much needed rest. Keep in mind that where we will be India is 11.5 hours ahead of Central Standard Time (CST) in the USA.
Mon. Jan 9 – Our first day full day in India will be a chance to move at a slower pace and begin adjusting to jet lag. We will visit the historic Qutub Minar, and also have a chance to browse at Dilli Haat, a fantastic open-air market in the heart of Delhi. We will also likely have a chance to briefly meet Thilakam Rejandram, who heads a national government agency focusing on children’s disability issues in India.
Tues. Jan 10 – We will check out of our hotel following breakfast and then visit the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial before leaving for Agra (approximately 3 hours away). We will check-in to our hotel in Agra (Hotel Pushp – http://hotelpushpvilla.com), and depending on time, may visit the Red Fort in the later afternoon.
Wed. Jan. 11 – We will have a full day of interaction with the Dayalbagh Educational Institute (DEI), a leading university in India http://www.dei.ac.in) – see additional program schedule for further details. Our first day of interaction with DEI will offer an opportunity for our group to work in the Khet (fields) along with the DEI community in the early morning. We will then meet with administrators of DEI and learn more about the university community and how spirituality is an integral component of the institution. We will also have a chance to share about UWO and our own department. The afternoon will provide an opportunity to learn more about DEI, and in the evening our group will participate in Satsang (a sitting mediation ritual) along with the spiritual master (Huzur) of DEI and the DEI community.
Thurs. Jan 12 – Having a fuller understanding of DEI, our second day will include participation in the Khet and Satsang, and will also provide an opportunity to connect and interact with the DEI Psychology Department. Charles will deliver a presentation on consciousness and counseling and intervention considerations in working in the area of crisis and trauma. In addition, both Indian and American students will present poster sessions on research/interventions efforts in which they have been engaged in their programs of study. This will provide a rich opportunity for interaction between students, in addition to an opportunity to learn how students in both cultures are engaged in their training as emerging professionals.
Fri. Jan 13 – We will shift to working directly with Mr. Anil Yadav and his staff at the Integrated Institute of Rehabilitation for the Disabled (IIRD) - Agra Center. We will have an opportunity to work directly with children with differing ASD (autism spectrum disorder) diagnoses, and will also have a chance to interact with staff to learn about their interventions with children. In interacting with the children, we will infuse theraplay techniques, music, dance, and other approaches that will provide opportunities for connection.
Sat. Jan 14 – On our final day in Agra, we will visit the Taj Mahal before transitioning back to Delhi where will stay the night (Rockland Inn – http://rocklandinn.com).
Sun. Jan 15 – Fly from Delhi to ancient Varanasi (leave Delhi at 1030am and arrive in Varanasi at 1145am). We will get situated in our hotel (Hotel Haifa – www.hotelhaifavns.com/), and then receive an orientation on the NGO started by Dr. Tulsi (Deva International Society for Child Care; DISCC – http://deva-europe.org/deva_new/).
Mon. Jan. 16 – The morning will provide an opportunity to explore Varanasi. In the afternoon, we will attend a presentation on the grounds of Benares Hindu University (BHU) on Vedic Counseling (connecting the Bhagavad Gita to counseling practice) by Professor Chandrabhal Dwivedi. In the evening, we will attend a traditional Indian musical concert on the banks of the Ganges, and conclude the evening by taking a boat ride on the Ganges that will afford us the opportunity to witness some of the daily rituals performed at the edge of this mystical river.
Tues. Jan. 17 – We will start the day by moving toward a DISCC site called the Annapurna Center. On our way, we will stop at an ancient temple along the banks of the Ganges. The Annapurna Center was created to empower young women, and we will have many opportunities throughout the day to learn about the program and engage with the girls and families within this village. We will also be looking to offer the village some of our own labor/efforts as a means of giving back to this community.
Wed. Jan. 18 – We will spend the day in a very rural area about 20km outside of Varanasi. The village we will visit houses another DISCC outreach project known as the Ambedkar school. We will have opportunities to engage with the children and teachers of this school, and will also have a chance to connect and participate directly within the classrooms.
Thurs. Jan 19 – We will visit Sarnath, the site where the Buddha delivered his first teaching after gaining enlightenment. We will also visit the archeological museum, which houses (among numerous treasures) the lion pillar that has been adopted as India’s national emblem. We will also have an opportunity on this day to observe a ritualistic healing ceremony (near Sarnath).
Fri. Jan 20 – We will have some free time on this final morning in Varanasi. We will fly from Varanasi (leave at 255pm) and arrive in Delhi at 420pm. For those interested, we will look at taking-in a Bollywood film in the evening!
Sat. Jan 21 – On our final day in India, we will visit the impressive Akshardam Temple in Delhi. We will move to airport in the later evening, and will fly from Delhi to Chicago in early morning of Jan. 22 (1255am) on AA flight 293.
Sun. Jan 22 – Our group will arrive in Chicago at approximately 500am (CST). The Kobussen bus will be waiting at O’Hare and will transport the group back to Oshkosh. Students should be back on our UWO campus by 900am.
Fri. Jan 27 or Fri. Feb. 10 – Portfolio Presentations? – 1200 – 300pm, Clow 11; (we will discuss these further when we meet).
Fri. April 27 – India Reunion – 100 – 300pm, Clow 11.