Journeys end

Our dearest little Shivas, Where do we begin? I guess back in SFO when everyone still had hair and was feeling a little nervous for what was to come. Luckily, Delhi took you all for a whirl, shook you up bit, and after conquering the chaotic city via scavenger hunt everyone was feeling ready to take on the semester. And so we did. We have shared so much together-not just… Read More

Shiva Crew is on their way…!

We’ve just heard from the leaders with the update that the entire Shiva group is safely off on their next adventures! A few will be traveling on their own in Asia for a while before returning home, while most are currently on the flight headed back towards San Francisco. They had a celebratory last day and said a joyful, tearful goodbye. Check out this sweet “final group photo!” Much gratitude… Read More

Student Directed Travel Week- McCleod and Amritsar

With only 3 days left in India, Shiva has closed their student directed travel portion of the program. Beginning in the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama- McLeod Ganj- and after a week working at Dev Bala Farm, we settled into this tourist-y part of Himachal Pradesh. We first saw the the Tibetan history museum, which was full of personal accounts from Tibetan refugees, staggering statistics, and detailed displays… Read More

Ebbs and Flows

Blog from Matt N. Part One: Shock and Awe Before diving into the shenanigans of Diwali, Varanasi’s own Festival of Lights of the Gods, let us delve into the bizarre business of banking. Immediately following the unexpected demonetization of all high-value rupee notes, the Rs 500 and the Rs 1000, the group began to fear the worst. Will the trip continue? Will we have to go home earlier? What do… Read More

All OUR MONEY IS USeless!!!

Hello everyone!! The past week of our trip has been nothing short of an adventure. As you all know, Donald Trump is President (little bit of a damper). And recently the government announced 500 rupee bills and 1,000 rupee bills are virtually worth nothing! Will we be able to finish this trip?!?! OK we will but jeez you should see the lines at the banks… We started our week in… Read More

Kolkata and Mother Theresa’s Homes

Blog from Sergio Calcutta!!!! So first we flew from Leh to Dehli, then Dehli to Calcutta. We spent the whole day in airplanes and wandering, arrived here at around 10pm to find such a different environment compared to our last one that we would be exposed to for the upcoming week. After a lot of calmness, silence, fresh air, and cold, we were welcomed that night in Calcutta with loud… Read More

Ladakh, Trek, and Photos!

Blog from Grace. Photos from Jon & Anya Finishing our week at SECMOL was bittersweet. The school itself was so interesting how it taught students from various villages not only school, but how to sustainably live off the land in an eco-friendly way. The cultural exchange between the students our age was fascinating to experience. During conversation class, which was a 15 minute talk between a student and volunteer, about… Read More

From Rishikesh To Ladakh

Blog from Rachael J. As I’m on my bed that is closer to the floor than I expected at SECMOL (The “Student’s Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh”) where I’m trying to string together the many similes so the reader can actually feel what I am talking about. I try to think of an onomatopoeia that distinctly describes the many noises or the lack of noises that I hear while… Read More

The Ashram Experience

Blog from Kippie. Photos from Jon and Anya. Note from Headquarters: the Shiva group just arrived in Leh, Ladak where they will volunteer with a partner organization and then go on a Himalayan trek! The group will have very limited access to internet for the next two weeks. I last blogged when we were heading into a week long yoga and meditation retreat here in India. Now a week later… Read More

Taj Mahal and Rishikesh

Blog by Kippie. Photos from the Overseas Educators The past few days since leaving Udaipur have been filled with unpacking bags and repacking them, trains and rickshaws, and ever new and exciting India. We arrived in Agra mid-day Wednesday, and spent the afternoon recovering from the hours on the train, as well as wandering around one of Agra’s largest bazaars. At this point in our trip, we’ve been to more… Read More

Jhadol and Udaipur

Blog from Elana O. Photos from the Overseas Educators Last week the Shiva group packed their bags and said their goodbyes to the host families in Jaipur. We headed to the train station and, after many ukelele songs and the death of one flip flop, boarded the train to Udaipur- the Venice of India. The first day in the lake-filled city included a lovely breakfast and walking tour of the… Read More

Shiva in Jaipur

Submitted and written by Matthew Nguyen. Photos from the Overseas Educators, Jon and Anya. Problog: Here we are! The moment of truth has arrived. With heavy, yet optimistic hearts we fly away from familiarity and the place we called home, lying in anticipation for what’s to come. Three months. New sights. New sounds. New friends and family. A completely different side of the world to explore and discover. After the… Read More

In Delhi

(From Elana O) Yes, there are 3 lanes on this road; yes, there are 5 rows of cars overlapping those lanes. The first car ride we took from the airport was exhilarating. As a relatively new driver in the states, I am used to expressing overly cautioned behavior on the road. Here, as I stepped out of my first vehicle in India, I was shaken from the reckless driving… and… Read More

We Went Scavenging Today!

Hello!!! Today was our first day out and about not as a whole group, and while it was overwhelming and tiring, it was super fun to be able to adventure around Delhi on our own. My partner/roomate and I, Elena, completed almost all of the tasks, but not quite. We began our day by getting lost on the metro and getting off in a part of town where there’s not… Read More

Independent in India

After the first few days of orientation in Majnu Ka Tilla, a Tibetan Refugee Area, we were cast into the real world of India, its capital, Delhi. The juxtaposition between India and America helped us realize how different we can become, especially because of our advantages granted by a first-world setting. Food, water, cleanliness all come into question every day. We, more often than not, take all of these resources… Read More

Holy COW

Sergio and I, Mary just completed the craziest scavenger hunt in Dehli. We got lost a few times but all is well. Just yesterday we were mindlessly following our leaders around wondering how they possibly knew which direction to go when there are about 678 alley ways on each road. We had wonderful conversations with kind Indian people and ate some nice french fries at mcdonalds since we felt a… Read More

Shiva: Safe in Delhi!

The Shiva crew just gave word that they are safely in Delhi and settling in to their orientation hostel! The crew is sleepy after the long journey, but still smiling and excited. They had a great time on their layover in Hong Kong and are ready to start exploring India. Stay tuned for more over the coming days…… Read More

On the way to Hong Kong…

Good evening family and “fans” of the Fall 2016 Shiva crew! We just received word that all of the students have successfully met up with Jon and Anya in the San Francisco airport and are waiting to board their flight on to Hong Kong, and then off to India. Based on the pictures it looks like they are having a blast already, and we wish them smooth travels. Stay tuned… Read More
Dearest Shiva Crew, We’re writing you here in Kolkutta at Raj’s Cafe, sipping iced mango juice and coffee (no surprise there…) and looking at the Carpe Diem Shiva tag on the wall along with the hundreds of other notes and drawings from travelers over the years. It’s strange to be here without you, and we’ve been thinking back fondly to those last times all 10 of us were together and… Read More

Shiva Returns

We have received word that the mighty Shiva group has successfully checked in for their return flight to America from New Delhi. We wish them traveling mercies on the long flight home and joyful reunions with their loved ones.… Read More