India

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India

Namaste to our family & friends!

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 2016, a group of Professional Counseling students will be making a 2.5-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 1.3 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 volunteer activities during this 2.5-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. 4 - 6, 2016

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. 

 Here we are prior during one of our pre-departure meetings.  We leave for O'Hare very early in the morning (Friday, 12/8) as our flight departs at 12:05 pm. Exciting!!!

 

General Itinerary

 

Final Itinerary for India, 2016

(Update 1/4/16)

 

PRF CNSL 724 – Counseling, Culture, and Spirituality in India

 

Classroom dates at UWO – Horizon 142: Mon., Tues., & Wed., Jan. 4 – 6, 2016 –     

    10:00am – 2:00pm each day

 

Time in India: depart Chicago Jan. 8 – return to USA on Jan. 26, 2016

 

Post India Meetings:  Mon. 29 Feb., 2016 - 5:15 – 8:15pm, location TBD

                                                                            Mon. 18 Apr., 2016 – 5:15 – 8:15pm, location TBD

 

Mon., Tues., & Wed., Jan. 4, 5, 6We’ll be meeting on the UWO campus, Horizon 142.  We’ll explore special topics and prepare further for our time in India.  Meet from 10:00am – 2:00pm each day. 

 

Fri., Jan. 8 & Sat. Jan. 9 - Transportation = Kobussen bus able to transport 12 people (leave UWO lot number 30 at the corner of Wisconsin and Pearl by 5:15am). Fly from Chicago to Abu Dhabi (Etihad Airways flight 150 – dep. Chicago at 12:05pm, arr. Abu Dhabi on 1/9/16 at 11:40am.  Fly from Abu Dhabi to Delhi (Etihad Airways flight 224 – dep. Abu Dhabi on 1/9/16 at 3:35pm, arrive in Delhi on 1/9/16 at 8:25pm local time).  During our time in Delhi, we will be staying at the Hotel Surya International:
http://hotelsuryainternational.com/gallery/  

 

Sun. Jan. 10 – Day for acclimation.  We will visit the Gandhi Smitri (Gandhi Memorial) and have an opportunity to learn about the impact and influence of Gandhi on the shaping of modern India.  Dr. Lindsey and Dr. Tulsi will provide an orientation this day, and Dr. Tulsi will discuss Ahimsa, the Ghandian principle of non-violence.  We will also find time to shop for “kurtas” (traditional Indian garments) that we will wear on several occasions during our time in India. Our group will also visit the historic Kutub Minar monument in the afternoon.     

 

Mon. Jan. 11 - We will connect with the Soami Nagar School in Delhi.  Specifically, we will have an opportunity on this day to meet and interact with students from the 9th, 10th, and 11th classes.  In addition, our group will prepare presentation topics on working with youth in a school setting.  We will be at Soami Nagar from 10:00am until approximately 1:30pm. We will plan to visit the artistic Houz Khas Village in the afternoon/evening. 

 

Tues. Jan. 12 - This will be our last full day in Delhi, and we will take time to more deeply explore India’s capital city, in addition to taking some time to focus on the rich spiritual traditions within India.  We will visit Bahai and Sikh temples, and Dr. Tulsi will provide a background of these rich traditions and share their complex interaction in the spiritual shaping of India. 

 

Wed., Jan. 13 – Fly from Delhi to Varanasi in the morning (leave Delhi at 10:35am and arrive in Varanasi at 11:55am – Jet Airways 7012). Upon arrival in Varanasi, Dr. Tulsi will provide an orientation to the DISCC organization (Deva International Society for Child Care) at the DEVA center headquarters. We will then move to Hotel Haifa where we will have accommodations for the next nine (9) nights.
http://hotelhaifavns.com/home.aspx

 

Thurs., Jan. 14th – We will start the day by moving to a nature preserve outside of Varanasi where we will hike and take time to learn and practice meditation.  Dr. Tulsi will also lead us in some basic yoga movement and technique.  We will also have time to connect with a nearby village where we will meet and interact with the spiritual leader of the village. 

 

Fri. & Sat., Jan. 15 & 16 – We will be connecting with the Annapurna Center (girls empowerment center) in another village community on the outskirts of Varanasi. We will be working with the residents of this village and learning about community life in rural India.  In addition, we will take part in some kind of refurbishing project for this important center of the village (most likely painting). On 1/15, we will stop at an ancient temple (Shultan Keshwar – dedicated to Shiva), on our way to the Annapurna center. 

 

Sun., Jan. 17 – We will visit Sarnath, the place at which the Buddha is said to have given his first teaching (on the 4 Noble Truths).  We will also have an opportunity to visit the incredibly ornate Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Sarnath, a temple where the Dalai Lama frequently teaches.

 

Mon. & Tues., Jan. 18 & 19 – Begin a two-day connection with the Sisters of Charity (Mother Theresa’s organization) in Varanasi.  We will work with the nuns in this center that provides assistance to the homeless and the ill each day from approximately 7:30am – 12:00pm.  Our efforts over the next two days will focus on providing direct interaction and assistance to the residents to include: arts and crafts, exercise, music, games, and other assistance where needed. On the afternoon of 1/18, we will have an opportunity to connect with an Ayurvedic doctor, and learn of the importance of treating mind, body, and spirit within this tradition. On the afternoon of 1/19, we will connect with a Brahman (teacher) who will talk with our group about how death is viewed and conceptualized from a traditional Indian perspective.  Implications for mental health professionals in addressing grief and loss will also be explored.

 

Wed., Jan. 20 – FREE DAY for students; a time for rest, reflection and moving at a slower pace.  In the evening we will attend a musical concert in the beautiful Panchakot House that overlooks the Ganges.  This will be immediately followed by a boat ride on the Ganges river.

 

Thurs., Jan. 21 – This will be our day for connecting again with children. We will have an opportunity to visit a local primary school and learn about Value-Based Education.  We will also work with children at the DEVA headquarters, where the focus is assisting children with developmental disabilities.  In the evening, Dr. Tulsi has graciously invited us to dinner at this home in Varanasi … we will be served food that is unique to south India (where Dr. Tulsi spent his childhood)!

 

Friday, Jan. 22 – We will fly from Varanasi (dep. 10:50am – Indigo Air 175) to Delhi (arr. 12:25pm), and then take a bus (approximately 3 hours) from Delhi to Agra.  During our time in Agra, we will be staying at the Hotel Sun:
http://www.sunhotelagra.com/

 

Saturday, Jan. 23 – We will spend the day visiting a community that houses a prominent university (DEI – Dayalbagh Educational Institute), combined with a spiritual community (Dayalbagh – the core of the Radhasoami spiritual tradition).  Our day will begin with by working in the fields (6:30 – 8:30am).  Later in the morning (10:00am), we will have an opportunity to visit a hospital connected with DEI (Sharan Ashram Hospital), and learn more about mental health intervention with a hospital setting.  We will then meet with DEI university officials (11:00am) to gain a deeper understanding the university, and then will have a chance to connect and have an exchange with university students who are studying psychology and education (11:30 – 2:00pm).  In the later afternoon (4:30 – 5:30pm), we will have the distinct privilege to hear from Professor Sriramamurti ji, who will talk about the ethos, culture, and spirituality of Dayalbagh.  Our day will end with our participation in evening meditation and mantras (Satsang – 5:30 – 6:30pm), along with the Dayalbagh community.

 

Sunday, Jan. 24 – This will be our day for visiting the Taj Mahal and Red Fort.  We will also have an opportunity to connect with Mr. Anil Yadav and his staff at the Integrated Institute of Rehabilitation for the Disabled (IIRD) - Agra Center; a center specializing in working with children with differing ASD (autism spectrum disorder) diagnoses.  In interacting with the children, we will infuse play therapy techniques, music, dance, craft, and other approaches that will provide opportunities for connection.

 

Monday, Jan. 25 & Tuesday, Jan. 26 – On Monday, January 25th, we will leave Agra in the morning (around 8:30am) and begin our journey back to Delhi.  If time permits, we will stop at the Deli Haat outdoor market for any last-minute gifts. We will then continue moving toward the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Our flight leaves Delhi at 9:55pm (Etihad Airways flt. 223), and arrives in Abu Dhabi on 1/26/16 at 12:35am.  We then fly from Abu Dhabi to Chicago (Etihad Airways flt. 151), with a departure of 3:55am, and an arrival in Chicago at 9:15am CST.  A bus will be waiting at O’Hare to take us back to Oshkosh.  We will hopefully arrive in Oshkosh around noon on Tuesday, January 26th.  

 

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started

and know the place for the first time"

T.S. Eliot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh — Where Excellence and Opportunity Meet.