Jaipur/”The Pink City”

Cobie here reporting from the land of camels, turbans and prosthetic feet…for Shanti group land of air conditioned bus rides, home stays, and fine dining. Jaipur! Sept 19th, we took a bus from Delhi to Jaipur. Upon arrival we were whisked off by Reshi Ji (our tour guide/program director) to the home of lovely Reika (co-director/artist/retired professor). After a short orientation and some hot Chai we were sent to meet… Read More

First Days in Delhi

Hello, this is Kat, and I believe I’m the first student blogger. We’re all here and safe. Sorry about the lack of blogging so far; it’s been really, really busy so far. First of all, a couple of us have been sick, but we’ve all been better by the next day. Jake was sick the worst so far, but don’t worry; it was just “meat withdrawals.” The first shock when… Read More

Earthquake in Sikkim

We’ve been in communication with the group leaders and all is well – in fact very little has registered that there was an earthquake in Sikkim, but since it could potentially affect the group’s volunteering there, it’s something we felt prudent to communicate to parents and vicarious travelers alike. As many of you may have heard, there was an earthquake centered in Sikkim yesterday that measured 6.8 on the Richter… Read More

India Scavengering

Hello Friends and Family! After about 40 hours of travel through Hong Kong and then a surprise stop in Bangkok where we learned how to say hello and thank you in Thai we finally made it to Delhi late at night 2 days ago.  Everyone is healthy and happy and soaking up all the 5 senses in a big way.   Orientation is almost to a close as we head to… Read More

Om Shanti Om

And it’s with great peace that this group appears to be departing.  Just look at these yoga poses!  It’s hard not to remember my own first journey to India … one that has had a lasting and profound impact on myself and the way I live in this world. I know this will prove to be an unforgettable experience for all of the Shanti group: May it be rich with… Read More

First Post for Shanti Fall 2011!

Namaste, from your very enthusiastic leaders, Simone and Ole!! This blog is a place for you to post photos, tell stories and share your experiences with friends and family back home. Send your loved ones this link so they can see and read about the places that your adventurous spirit is taking you. Throughout our semester, each of you will have the opportunity to post to this blog, documenting our… Read More

Last Days

Namaste Family and Friends.We finished up the ashram program with a nice Puja ceremony, in which we chanted a mantra 108 times before burning our worries away. Then we left the rushing Ganga and drove down to Haridwar. We stayed here last night and watched the news of the Mumbai attacks – a crazy way to come back to the world indeed. Scary, but luckily it’s far from where we… Read More

The group is A-OK

This is Ethan here, just wanting to reassure any worried parents in the light of the Mumbai tragedy that the group is doing well and are meditating their way through Thanksgiving at an ashram about 280 miles from Mumbai. They don’t have access to the internet at the ashram at the moment so I’m making this quick post: the group is OK and they are quite safe. Please stay tuned… Read More


Our first few days in Rishikesh were very relaxing. We were able to explore the yoga capital of the world and reflect on our experiences in India thus far. Some of us took the opportunity of the clean Ganges water to wash our sins away. We dunked in the water 3 times, as is customary in the hindu culture. The water was cold and clear, but very refreshing.We also had… Read More


So now that the majority of us are certified Thai Massage therapists and Basic Healing practitioners, not to mention professional musicians, we have the time and energy to greet the Dali Lama as he pulls into his Temple after long travels. He has returned to his home in India! We are very fortunate to be here during the time of his presence although speeches will only begin after our departure.… Read More

Adventures In Bir!!!

Hello devoted readers! Namaste!Our stay in Bir as turned out to be an incredibly pleasant one, full of self discovery and exploration. We lodged up in the ‘Deer Park Institute’, which is a center for anceint Indian wisdom! The days were started off with a hearty breakfast (provided by the staff of ‘Deer Park’) followed by a few brief introductary lessons into meditation, which proved to be extremely calming and… Read More
sweet! our whole group from left to right :Mychal, Sofia, Ashley, Will, Jack, Adam, HeatherUp above Bir, from a place where SO many paragliders take off everyday. More later.Much प्यारshanti… Read More
गोल्डन तेम्प्ले Golden Temple in Amritsar! Imagine this lit up at night… swimming in pray flags! Just out the back door from Deer Park Institute:-)… Read More


Tashidelek. Once Again. We have arrived back at the beloved foothills of the Himalayas in the teeny town of Bir. We’re staying at the Deer Park Institute, which is Buddhist sanctuary after our crazed filled Diwali few days in Amritsar… We had just come off a nice 5 hour train, from Varanasi to Amritsar. The landscape was different up there. There were turbans of every color filling the streets. And,… Read More
Namaste from the forest of bliss….. also known as Varanasi or Banaras.We have grown accustomed to our daily routine in Varanasi which includes Hindi class in the morning, followed by a delicious meal cooked by Shantiji (the cook in our hostel), and then a slu of internships and exploration. This morning however, we strayed from our routine and woke up at 5:00 a.m.. We groggily headed down to the Ganges… Read More

Smack through Bodhgaya + into Varanasi

Namaste other worlds! We have left Calcutta with precise memories and sincere experience. After our overnight train from the city we entered into the state of Bihar ,home of Bodhgaya and one of the poorest states in India. The state is currently recovering from severe flooding, but the area we were in was fine. Upon being so formally greeted by the packs of taxi drivers and by-standers, we were on… Read More
Greetings from Kolkata round two! We are on our final day in Kolkata and it has been quite an excited 10 days here. As soon as we arrived here it was obvious that there was a strong connection to the city with the whole group. Everyone seems to just love it here. Our usual schedule for the day is as follows: we wake up at around six oclock and try… Read More


Hello Everybody~We’ve finally arrived in Kolkata, after an overnight train ride, after a five hour jeep from Gangtok. We said our longing goodbyes to the majestic Himalayan town up in the jungles. The drive was beautiful along the Teetsa river, which is wide, fast, and brown. We got a flat tire, but the driver fixed it in no time. We arrived at Mgp train station and it started to feel… Read More

Gangtok and trekking in Sikkim!

hello devoted readers!hope all is going well at your end. My apologies for the blog coming so late.After our stay in the sleepy town of Darjeeling, we headed off to Gangtok in a hired seven passenger jeep. After a long 6 hours of travel which included stopping for meals, permits and snack breaks, finally made it to our destination. We then made our way down to the main strip of… Read More


After a quick flight, and a three hour jeep ride up winding mountains, we have found ourselves in Darjeeling. Upon our arrival we were warmly welcomed at our hotel, and offered the tea which Darjeeling is so well known for. Darjeeling is generally the opposite of the crazy hectic city New Delhi. There is a sense of deep serenity and calm which eminates through the land as well as the… Read More