Teach English, Celebrate Diwali, and Drink Tea

Kinnaur monasteryby Hannah Etchison

Hannah Etchison, a graduating senior majoring in Religious Studies with a minor in Asian Studies, spent six weeks of this fall in India, staying primarily at a monastery where she learned from the women staying there and helped them with their English. This is her last post on her India trip (at least for now). Don’t miss her previous posts about her experiences (Hannah Goes to India 1Hannah Goes to India 2iPhones, Monks and the Images We ConstructImmediate Relativism, Bonding with a Himalayan Spider).

Besides the all-too-frequent visitations from (supposedly harmless) Himalayan spiders, I spent my days in roughly a schedule as follows:

6-8am: wake up, brush teeth, get dressed, make bed, exercise, prepare lesson. It’s really cold in the morning.

8-9am: Breakfast. Normally spicy ramen noodles with fresh chapatti, or dahl (bean or lentil soup), or vegetables. Served with sweet tea and therefore my favorite meal. Continue reading

Bonding with a Himalayan Spider

Himalayan heights

by Hannah Etchison

Hannah Etchison, a graduating senior majoring in Religious Studies with a minor in Asian Studies, spent six weeks of this fall in India, staying primarily at a monastery where she learned from the women staying there and helped them with their English. Don’t miss her previous posts about her experiences (Hannah Goes to India 1Hannah Goes to India 2iPhones, Monks and the Images We Construct, Immediate Relativism)

I’ve been getting it a lot: “how was India?” I generally follow up with adjectives like amazing, incredible, life-affirming, or “the best place ever.” But I’d be more than happy to go into more detail, since I think at least some people are genuinely interested in what it’s like to teach English on a mountaintop Tibetan monastery to a bunch of Indian nuns. Continue reading

iPhones, Monks and the Images We Construct

tibet money

by Hannah Etchison

Hannah Etchison, a graduating senior majoring in Religious Studies with a minor in Asian Studies, spent six weeks of this fall in India, staying primarily at a monastery where she will learn from the women and help them with their English. This is her third post about that experience. See her first and second posts. 

Sogyal* struck up a conversation with me quickly. I had mentioned to another guest at the World Buddhist Centre that I was an English teacher.

“You’re a teacher? So am I.” He chimed in with clear but accented English. Continue reading

Hannah Goes to India, Part 2

Passport stamps

By Hannah Etchison

Hannah Etchison, a graduating senior majoring in Religious Studies with a minor in Asian Studies, is spending six weeks of this fall in India, staying primarily at a monastery where she will learn from the women and help them with their English. This is her second post about that experience. See her first post.

It has been suggested to me that others may be interested in how my opportunity came about. I am here to explain, in everyone’s favorite format (the numbered list!), how I ended up in a remote women’s monastery in the Indian Himalayas, teaching English and seeing India for 6 weeks. Continue reading