Friday, July 29, 2005

Contact Information

Right, in case you want to contact me:

E-mail --

Phone -- 011 - 91 -135- 263 - 5900 ex. 2484. (that's the phone in my apartment--remember, 9 1/2 hours time difference, assuming EST).

Snail Mail (send me letters!!)
Kathlynn Lockard
Woodstock School
Mussoorie, Uttaranchal
248179 INDIA

Home Sweet Home

Okay, in actuality, my home is neither particularly sweet nor super homey at the moment. Allow me to try to explain my apartment. First of all, it is pretty far away from the main campus of the school. The staff homes are scattered over the hillside anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes away. And, you guessed it, Mt. Hermon (yay home!) is on the far end of the spectrum. It's uphill from the school so it takes about 20 minutes to walk down in the morning and more like a half an hour to walk back up at the end of the day. And it is UP. Incline the whole way, sometimes quite steep, sometimes stairs. I was seriously winded and sweating yesterday after my first climb. But I'm still attributing some of that to altitude adjustment. The plus to our location is that the view is spectacular. Out one side of the house, you can (on a clear day) see the snowy peaks of the upper Himalayas. Off to the other side, you look out over the Doon Valley which stretches out below the school.
I live in an apartment, one of 5 in our "complex." I'm not really sure what to call Mt. Hermon as a collective. It is sort of house-like, but ranch-style, all on one level. It used to be a dorm, so the setup is a little strange. It's pretty old and somewhat dilapidated. Actually, quite dilapidated. I almost cried when I first saw it from the outside because it wasn't too welcoming. Inside is much better, aside from the pervasive smell of mildew (yay monsoons!). My apartment consists of a living room/sitting room with a couch, two upholstered chairs, a coffee table, a dining table with chairs and a wood-burning stove. Quite cozy, really. Then I have my bedroom, one wall of which is all windows. The bedroom is great except that the floor is tile and will be mighty chilly in the winter. I have a small bathroom (just toilet and sink) right off of the bedroom. The main bathroom is off of the sitting room. It's quite amusing because I have two sinks, two toilets and two shower stalls (in addition to what's in my bedroom). So it looks funny, but there's nice not water--you just have to turn the heater on 20 minutes before you want a shower.
I share a kitchen with house-mate Zoe and a common room with the other three: Ethan, Joanna, and Chris. My apartment is definitely the most, uh, minimalist. I've only been in Ethan's and Zoe's but they're both much nicer than mine--nicer furniture, fun colored walls, etc. But they're all contract staff, as opposed to volunteer like me which means they'll be here longer and so get nicer accommodations. I suppose it's fair.
I promise to try to have some pictures soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I'm here! YAY!!! I arrived at the school at 2pm on Wednesday, July 27th, approximately 46 hours after I left Pittsburgh. A very long 46 hours. I'll spare you the details of my travel. Suffice to say I ended up in cities I didn't mean to at times I wasn't supposed to be there, but all in all ended up in India only a few hours behind schedule. A minor miracle. I was met at the airport by a Woodstock staff member and drove up to the school with a couple late-arriving students. The drive took another 8 hours.
So, you know how when you visit some countries, you find yourself thinking "this could be America?" This would not be one of those countries. I don't even know where to begin! Delhi was insane--people everywhere, traffic like you would not believe. Totally overwhelming. Let me give just a few highlights from the drive up:
1) Cows. That's right--I am in the land of the sacred cow and there are lots of them. Although, admittedly, not as many as I first thought -- a number of the alleged "cows" turned out to be naught by humble water buffalo (okay, so I'm not exactly Dr. Doolittle!). I'm trying to figure out, without looking like a total moron, exactly what the deal is with the cows. Are they all sacred? Or just the ones with the funny hump between their shoulders. Hmm....
2) Hinduism. One of the most interesting sights on the drive were the hundreds, literally, of men, usually in groups of two or three, wearing bright orange t-shirts and walking along the side of the road carrying brightly bedecked yokes across one or both shoulders. Really gaudy things with gold sparkly streamers and whatnot. Turns out it's the time of year for this huge water pilgrimage, centering around the god Shiva. Thousands and thousands of men make the pilgrimage to the headwaters of the Ganges river to pick up water and WALK it back home (as far as 600 km sometimes) to purify their local temples. Amazing. They're everywhere. Our drive took longer than it could have, becasue they closed the main road from Delhi to Dehra Dun to accomodate them.
That's all for now. I'll give an update on things like my apartment and whatnot later. I will say that it is AMAZINGLY gorgeous here. I've never lived in anything resembling mountains before and these are serious mountains. From outside my house I can see the snow peaks of the Himalays to the north (at least, I assume that is north...) and the whole Dun valley stretching out below. It's like nothing I've ever seen. I'll try to take pictures soon and figure out how to post them somewhere. It's monsoon season now which means a) lots of rain (duh) b) lots of fog, obscuring such picture-taking and c) moldy clothing if I'm not careful. Ewwww.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Best Laid Plans

Okay so the whole "blogging from Israel" thing seemed like such a good idea. And then once I got here I remembered...oh yeah--I have NO free time! Literally. My daily schedule looks something like this:
4:30 am -- wake up (sort of)
5:00 am -- start digging
8:30 am -- breakfast
1:00 pm -- return from field and eat lunch
2-3:00 pm -- NAP
3:00-4:30 pm -- daily paperwork
4:30-6:00 pm -- daily pottery washing and reading
6:00-7:00 pm -- lecture
7:00pm -- dinner
Then bedtime and repeat. Good heavens. Oh well, the blog was mainly for India anyways and I promise to keep up better there. I swear.