From the Bodhi Tree to the Urban Jungle

Hola Lolas!

After a delightful goodbye dance/Halloween party thrown in our honor in Varanasi, we departed for a “saturation in Buddhism” aka Bodhgaya aka the Bodhi Tree aka awesomeness. We arrived at the tranquil Butanese temple, where we spent our three nights. Surrounding the area were temples from all over Asia — we were able to visit the intricately designed temples of Thailand, Vietnam, Tibet, Japan, and THE BIG BUDDHA. This last item wasn’t a temple, but literally a giant Buddha made of stone. During our stay, some of us (aka Eva and Amy and the leaders) woke up at 4:30 in the morning to witness a puja (morning prayer) down by the banks of the hanky panky aka the local river. As the sun rose, thousands of people crowded down to bathe themselves and pray. And perhaps the most exciting part of our stay in Bodhgaya was the election of OBAMA!!!!! As soon as we heard the news, we toasted chai to him at a local bookstore with the owner. Now on to Calcutta.

After waiting for a 2 hour delayed train and being kicked out of many restaurants for loitering, we finally got situated for our 10 hour train ride, most of which was spent sleeping (for most people). Now we are here in Calcutta, staying at Nalin’s aunt’s apartment. Today we begin volunteering at Mother Theresa’s Charity homes. We have all decided to work at different houses, some of which include the home for the Destitute and Dying, a home for mentally handicapped children and others similarly related. In other news, we are slowly preparing and building excitement for our choice of Free Travel — The Andaman Islands.

We hope all is going loverly at home — Goodnight and Goodluck (aka Goodmorning for us)!!

Yours truly,
Eva and Amy