Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Inaugural Entry (Does Anyone Have a Champagne Bottle to Break?)

Welcome to Indiana to India.

I'm really sorry you have to type so much to get here - really! This blog's URL, indiana2india.blogspot.com, is too long. I agree! I tried to come up with a shorter URL to use here, but all the cool URLs (there are two: i2i.blogspot.com and i-2-i.blogspot.com) were taken. "Eye to eye" is such a common phrase, I should have realized anything like it would be unavailable. I probably could have claimed one of those for myself had I done this earlier; I guess this is what I get for waiting so long to jump on the blog wagon.

That brings us to the topic of the blog. I might have jumped at the chance to spend hours at a keyboard, waste away my eyesight, and risk carpal tunnel syndrome, all in the interest of self-expression to what would probably end up being an empty audience. And enticing and motivating as all that was, I resisted. For the life of me I couldn't come up with any topic that would mean anything to anyone. I started to register at Blogger a number of times, but I got scared off every time by the fact that I didn't have a title, and I decided I wouldn't have a title until I had a topic.

Fortunately, tonight I happened upon Kangpa Tshapo's excellent weblog, my thoughts and activities in dharamsala, located at
http://dharamsalalight.blogspot.com/. My life has recently come largely into focus, and it looks like I'll soon be working for a graduate degree in visual anthropology. I'm still an undergraduate at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, majoring in French, but some recent experiences (perhaps the most significant, working on the Education in Zion project at BYU) have left me wanting to do anthropology at the graduate level, eventually leading to a visual anthropology program. BYU offers an International Field Study program to India, where it looks like I'll be spending four months (May through August 2006) in and around Dharamsala, India. So Kagpa Tshapo's blog mentioned above has become my inspiration. Thanks to you, if you do happen to read this!

I have a few objectives here:

- To let you know about how I'm gearing up for my time in India

- To keep a pretty good journal of my personal experience (as opposed to my field notes - though I imagine there'll be a good amount of overlap)

- And to solicit your advice on traveling to, in, and from India, especially northern India

I hope you'll take the time to drop me a line. If you speak Spanish, French, or Portuguese, I speak, read, and write in all three, so feel free to go that route if you're uncomfortable with English.

Thanks and happy reading!

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