The White Hindu has moved

The White Hindu has moved! This blog is no longer updated, but Ambaa is still writing The White Hindu every weekday at

Friday, April 30, 2010

Quick Question

I am confused and a bit frustrated that it seems like people have a hard time keeping "Hindi" and "Hindu" straight.

I was on a message board and the person was talking about "worshiping the same God as a Hindi" and it just sounded so bizarre.

Am I the only one who doesn't find it hard to keep straight which one is a language and which one is a religion? I know that they're similar words, so maybe this falls into the category of how it is fairly easy for me to remember which "your" or "you're" to use, because they are totally separate and different words. Is that just my brain? Should I just keep my mouth shut when someone asks me how I'm coming along in learning Hindu?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Dreaming in Hindi"

Thanks for the kind comments, everyone. I'm finding such inspiration here and so when I feel down or frustrated about this, I can come here and re-read everyone's encouragement. It's wonderful.

I know I said I would do a post about Marrying Anita, but this new book has swept me away! I went to the library to renew the first one and I found that they had a copy of Dreaming in Hindi.

It's an excellent book, about a white American woman who decides to learn Hindi in mid-life. She joins a program for learning in India for a year and she documents her fascinating experiences there, as well as mixing in all the latest linguistic research on second language acquisition.

Some food for thought for me:
"I'm perpetually bemused by how entwined this language is with Hinduism. Sometimes I think I can't being to speak it without a thorough grounding in the religion...They say there's no conversion rite into Hinduism, but there is: learn Hindi."

"The Canadian psycholinguists Wallace Lambert and Robert Gardner had just come out with their observation that people learn languages from one of two broad motivations: either they're doing it to make a living, or they have some compelling desire to slip into another community. Sometimes this second aspiration stems from the fact that they feel masked in their own. 'Why do people want to adopt another culture?' Alice Kaplan writes. 'Because there's something in their own they don't like, that doesn't name them.'"

Though it is only vaguely about Hindi and more about the change in one's mind and culture from experiencing someone else's language, I did learn some Hindi tid-bits. I can't believe that I never noticed that the word for "to have" is the same as "close to." The author pointed out that there isn't a sense of ownership in the Hindi language. I had the "Mera pas jacket hai" (I have a jacket) and the "Ladki ke pas ghar hai" (the girl is near the house), but I had never noticed they were the same words! Light bulb moment. And those feel great, particularly since they aren't happening as much as when I first started.

And one more tip it has given me for learning Hindi. One of the tricky things for me is the gender of words. English being a language without gendered words, this is a very difficult thing to pick up and the genders have to just be memorized. The author talks about a study where they had German and Spanish speakers describe certain objects. These were objects that had opposite genders in each of the languages. They found that for masculine words, the people described the objects in masculine ways and the same for feminine. I wonder if I could force this sort of thing and help to memorize words by thinking about the objects in ways that call to mind a particular gender to me (i.e., think of a key, feminine, as delicate and small...) This would be my own ideas and attachments about gender, obviously, just to help me remember.

Monday, April 26, 2010

People similar to me

[EDITED: I just realized that the title of this post could be taken a way I totally didn't mean...changing it now! Great example of how learning another language is a really difficult experience. Saying "People like me" could mean what the title now says or it could mean "You like me, you really like me" and the difference is in tone only, even though English is not a tonal language. Argh!)

I was doing some Internet searches and I came across much more encouraging things than I have in the past.

On one webpage, a man asks, "How are whites received by the Hindu community? My instinct tells me that I'd be met with some xenophobia and seen as an outsider and an oddity; something of a wanna-be."

The responses are very encouraging, telling him that it is common to see white people at temples now. (I've never seen that, but I've been too shy to go all that often).

I haven't read through it yet, but I also found a blog about someone who is a westerner and a convert to Hinduism.

Another blog I found that I'm really enjoying is about a Dominican woman who converted to Orthodox Judaism. Reading through her posts, it's remarkable how much converts have in common, regardless of the religion they are moving to. A couple of things that were very familiar were when she talked about how she felt her soul had always been Jewish and that when she learned about how God was viewed in Judaism it matched exactly the belief she already had in her heart. Her struggles to be accepted in a tight-knit group of people who are a different ethnicity from her are very inspiring.

I haven't been back to the temple since Ram Navami, but I feel so encouraged by the recent things I've found that I'm going to go back soon. I'm also thinking about signing up for some of the programs offered by Chinmaya Mission. They are a world-wide organization with a reputation for being welcoming of all Hindus.

I've been so worried about coming across, as the man above said, like a "wanna-be", but I have to learn to accept that I can't control how others will view me. It really is okay if people think I'm doing this because it's exotic or cool, I know my own reasons and that is all that matters.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


The person commenting on the last post mentioned being complimented on having Indian mannerisms. This happened to me for the first time last weekend. My boyfriend and I went with some friends to an Indian restaurant and I was eating, as I always do, by mixing a curry with some rice and picking it up with pieces of bread instead of utensils. One of the restaurant staff came by to say, "I like the way you are eating. That is how we eat in India."

I will be writing some posts soon based on thoughts and passages from a book I've been reading. It's called Marrying Anita and it is about a woman of Indian origin who grew up in America, but went back to India to look for a husband.

I also wanted to tell you that one of the reasons I started this blog was to help me get hold of an idea for my own book. I am a fiction writer and I've written a couple of books and for my next project I came up with the idea of an American girl of Indian origin who is not all that interested in her family and roots until her mother falls ill (and her father has been supposedly dead for all of her life). She decides to be a dutiful Indian daughter and move her mother into her place, but when she's packing up and going through her mother's things she discovers that her mother isn't Indian at all. She is a white woman, who at a very early age took an interest in Indian culture. Frustrated by feeling that she could never quite fit in, she went to drastic measures and pretended to be Indian all of her life, even adopting an Indian daughter. So it would explore issues like the ones here, about culture, and roots, and what makes us who we are. I haven't quite figured out how to structure the plot yet, though.

Something else happening today that I'm sure I'll want to tell you all about is the first book club meeting of the Hindi speaking group. We've read White Tiger, and we're going to be discussing it in Hindi!

So, more posts soon!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No India Yet

There has been a consensus of advice that it would be better if I were to go with someone, either Indian friends or my boyfriend, or at least meet up with people I know when there (even if just friends of friends).

It's interesting because my mom was very worried when my boyfriend was talking about coming along. She thought it would be too shocking for us to travel together, since we are not married. Interestingly, her Indian friends urged her to make him go along! After all, the people on the street in India are not going to know that we're not married.

However, in the end it is finances that prevent me from going right now. I don't know when I'll get a chance again, but I'll have my eyes open for another opportunity.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Trip to India

Still uncertain about whether I'll be able to go to India this summer.

I don't have the money, so I've asked my parents and they have some concerns. They're afraid that over the summer will be too hot and maybe during monsoon and too difficult for me to deal with.

They worry that I know no one there and I will be traveling alone.

They worry that I'll just be helping out at an orphanage and not get to see India and what a shame it would be to go all that way and not see the big sites.

Personally, I don't care that much about the big sites. The group I'm interested in going with does offer a trip that includes site seeing, but it's all Islamic sites. Sure, the Taj Mahal must be worth seeing, it is a wonder of the world, but I won't be upset not to see it. I'm not much of a museum goer and I don't have a checklist of places I have to see. I just want to experience India. I just want to be there.

My family does not seem to be able to understand that desire.

I am interested in everyday lives. I don't care about being a tourist, I just want to experience life.

For some reason I want this trip very, very badly and I can't entirely put into words why. Going to India is something I've wanted for years, but I kept it on the back burner of my mind, figuring an opportunity would present itself eventually. It's always so hard to have both the time and the money at the same point. Now an opportunity has come up and the desire sprung up from the back of my mind and now I can hardly think about anything else I want it so badly.

I feel like a fraud because I've never been to India. How can I participate in Indian culture and religion when the only access I have to it is through Indians living in America?

On the other hand, I do need to learn patience. When an idea comes to me of something I want to do, I pursue it relentlessly until it happens. I'm not good at letting this one go and wait for a while longer.

My parents also think that a few years from now might be better, particularly since I would have to squeeze the trip in between classes for my paralegal certificate.

I feel guilty because I know I don't deserve this trip, I don't have a right to it, and I'm over-privileged as it is. My parents have done more for me than most would.

But I can't help wanting it.

These two drives are tearing me, one direction is my desire to go to India and the other direction is feeling that I haven't earned it. I feel trapped.

Letting go of desire is an important part of Hinduism and I might have to start practicing it!

Things are still up in the air now as my parents talk to their Indian friends to get their opinions. So far the two we spoke to said I should wait until school is over and I should go with someone I know for protection. The only reason I don't want to wait for school to be over is that as soon as it ends, I will be starting at a full time job and it will take years to save up enough vacation time to make a trip to India reasonable. As for protection, I trust that the organization I go with will keep me safe and provide me with other people to do things with.

Friday, April 16, 2010


My boyfriend is really very open minded about my odd inclinations. A girl at the Hindi meet-up group asked him how he felt about my passion for Indian culture and he told her he thought it was great. He jokes about my last ex-boyfriend, who as part of his break-up speech said that I have "this whole Indian thing going on." This boyfriend loves my "whole Indian thing." He also thinks that Ganesha is awesome. Apparently, Ganesha is featured as a character in a webcomic he likes.

It can be easy to forget that he does not hold the same beliefs. There are just moments here and there when I come slammed up against the fact that he's an atheist. I can respect that. I have an easier time getting along with and being in relationships with atheists in many cases. I find that most of them still have what feels to me to be a spiritual energy to their beliefs. I'm not sure how to phrase that exactly. It just feels like I recognize the energy.

And it's all good and fine that we live together and go through our lives, me believing in one thing and he in something else, me doing my rituals and he reading science textbooks while I do them.

But I start to wonder if the vision I have for our children is actually possible. I've explained that if we were to get married and have children, I would want to give the children a strong spiritual base early in life. To my philosophy in life, that's very important. I think that young children need a structured religious life, but also the freedom of knowing that when they are reasoning adults, they can follow whatever path feels authentic to them. The boyfriend and I discussed, and he was amenable to waiting until the children are 10 or 11 to discuss his atheism with them.

There are certain situations where I feel like I have to be in control. I don't think I'm generally a controlling person, and am completely willing to let go and let someone else do the controlling in cars and in various other situations. With my hypothetical children this is much harder. I worry about them so much and I want to have some control over what messages they are getting.

This is impossible, of course. We give our children the best basis we can and then we let them figure it out in the world. To me, the best basis will involve telling them the mythology I was told as a child, telling them stories of the gods, and involving them in a Hindu community.

One of the things that got me thinking about it was my law class. We are about to start studying family law and I read about prenups in my textbook. It said that prenups are often upheld by courts in financial matters, but not for decisions made about children. If we were to split up (and I will say I absolutely don't believe in divorce, but I'm pretty sure the majority of divorced people said that before they got married), I would not have much control over the childrens' spiritual upbringing.

Case in point:

Here the father converted to Judaism and agreed to raise the kids Jewish, but after he divorced the mother, he brought their daughter to church and had her baptized. Personally, that horrifies me. I know the spiritual education I want for my children and that does not include church and that does not include baptism.

This is not to say that I think this will or would happen with my boyfriend and me, but it's an interesting thing to consider in an inter-faith couple.

It's easy to make plans based on how you think you will feel in the future, but once you actually have the child, does it change how you think? It seems to.

I've seen friends get much more religious after their children were born. I've had a friend who is Jewish and whose husband is an atheist start to have disagreements over a Christmas tree when she got pregnant. He had for many years told her that he was fine with raising the children completely Jewish. But then, faced with actual children it seems, he remembered how much he enjoyed the tradition of a Christmas tree and wanted it for them. She was quite upset, considering that they were married and she felt that he was backing out on what he promised.

It's fine for yourself to do whatever and risk your soul to damnation (if you believe the evangelicals), but when it comes to your kids, you can't be too safe. I will have to do some real research on how inter-faith couples deal with raising children respectfully with each other.

I was thinking also about how strange it is for my grandmother and other extended family. This weekend, back at my parents house for my birthday, I came across my father's baby book. My grandmother had written about his first words, his first Christmas, and saved his one year birthday cards. Putting myself in her shoes, it is impossible to imagine what it will be like for her if she has to face that some of her great grand-children will grow up in a culture that she may never have even heard of, certainly doesn't know anything about.

My parents could not have known thirty-five years ago, when they took that first step down the path of uncovering a new spiritual identity, that what they would get is a Hindu daughter.

Of course, this just shows that you don't ever know how your kids are going to turn out or which events and things they notice early on are going to become major influences.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I've spoken before about temples, called Mandir. Home worship is also an important part of Hinduism.

Hindu homes have shrines in them and these are often called the heart of the Hindu home.

Some go to Mandir every day, others go only to request particular things or to have a particular ritual done. These rituals are called pujas and there are simple ones that can be done at home and there are very complex ones requiring certain ingredients and mantras. There are different pujas for different occasions and for different deities.

At home the puja will usually consist of ringing a bell, lighting incense, circling a light in front of the deities (called arti), and offering fruit, flowers, and/or a mix of rice and tumeric. Sometimes the deities are bathed in water or in milk or other substances and clothed. Red kumkum powder is put on the forehead of the deity with the thumb of the right hand and the same is applied to the forehead of the devotee. Often bhajans, worship songs, will be sung or played.

A house's shrine may be an entire room, or a niche in the wall. There are small metal temples sold that one can use to house murtis (statues of the gods). The gods themselves will be ones that are connected to the region or the family. Individuals are encouraged to find a god who inspires them in particular.

I have yet to see a shrine that did not include Ganesha. He is the most beloved god and is called "the remover of obstacles." He is prayed to before starting anything new.

Puja is performed everyday. The food that was offered is shared with the members of the family. It is called prasad and is considered to be blessed. This food is consumed before any other food of the day. Also, the flowers that are offered in the puja cannot be sniffed ahead of time. The flowers' first fragrance belongs to the gods.

Tradition has it that the puja is performed at sunrise by the ladies of the household. Before it begins, they must be bathed and cleanly dressed. I will admit, I don't get up that early to do it! (Although my parents for the last thirty years have meditated for 30 minutes at every sunrise and sunset, these times of day are supposed to be filled with spiritual energy).

Cleanliness is very important in Hinduism. The right hand, considered more clean, is used for eating and for other things. Shoes are removed before entering a sacred space such as a Mandir, and because of home shrines, shoes are removed when entering a Hindu home.

Another religious practice done in the home is the blessing of new things. The home itself and big purchases like cars are blessed by a priest, who comes to the home for the ritual.

I am lucky enough in my new apartment to have a separate space for my shrine. Our one bedroom apartment came with two closets, a walk-in one and a small one. I commandeered the smaller one and set up my murtis, pictures, incense, lights, etc. I have a CD of bhajans to play. I close myself in that closet each day and perform my own simple puja.

Some different examples:

More information is available at these websites:
A discussion among young American Hindus about gods and worship:
I like this one because it is white people doing it!
Other examples of pujas, by searching for "home puja" at YouTube:

This weekend my boyfriend and I are flying to my parents' house for my birthday. I will not be wearing my bindi. I plan to deal with that with them at my brother's graduation in May. I will, however, have the chance to practice some Hindi with my mother's Indian friends. Very excited for that.

I've started doing for Hindi learning as well. One of my friends likes it better than Rosetta Stone. I still prefer Rosetta Stone, but I think LiveMocha is a great next step. It has you write and speak exercises, which get reviewed by native speakers. For some reason, though, they feel the need to bash Rosetta Stone and that upsets me. I love Rosetta Stone so much, and I'm very protective of it! LiveMocha is free, at least for the earlier lessons.

Also, my boyfriends family has been made aware of my religion. I've heard this third hand, but apparently, after he and I left at Easter, someone asked what religion I was. His mother planned to just say she didn't know, but his stepfather jumped in to say I was Hindu. Apparently, his grandmother's eyes got huge. They have to find out eventually and probably better for them to start getting used to it now rather than later. His immediate family is very open minded about it and his mother even gave me a gift certificate to India Sari Palace for my birthday!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I don't believe in luck.

Fate, yes. Luck, no. This does not mean that there couldn't be such things as auspicious days or better times to do a particular thing, but to me karma precludes the possibility of luck. All things that happen to us are the results of our choices and our souls' needs. Nothing is left to chance.

Too often, people use this as an excuse to not help someone else. Seeing someone in a miserable situation, they might think that person deserves it and leave them to it. This is one of the reasons why unfair practices in the caste system persist. The idea is that you were born to that destitute situation for a reason and that reason must have something to do with you being a bad person in a previous life.

But, as I've said before, nothing is punishment. Everything is for learning. And we don't have any way of knowing (in most cases) what landed a person in a difficult life. It may not have been because they've done something bad, it may be because they are a very strong person and are learning to handle more and more. Like the great guru who did not try to cure his own cancer because he knew it was the only karma left that he had and once he suffered through it he would be free from the cycle of birth and death.

Even beyond the possibilities that this other person is suffering not because of something bad but because of something good, what gives us the right to judge them if it is because of something bad?

We all make mistakes. And there are consequences to those mistakes. In this world, justice is perfect (although not always swift by our standards). Maybe someone did do something unwise and is stuck with a terrible consequence. It is still for us to have compassion and to help however we can. We have all done foolish things and made mistakes.

I hate making mistakes. It is very hard for me to deal with having an imperfect life. I get upset with myself for not being perfect all the time. No matter how many times i am told that making mistakes is how we learn, I still hate it.

When I was growing up, I heard a lot of the adults around me saying that i would be spared from so many of the mistakes of their lives. They had found this fantastic philosophy and they thought, "if only I had this when I was a kid. If only my parents had taught me this from the moment I was born...what an advantage these children have." That put an enormous burden on me. I felt obligated to take advantage of my good birth and avoid these mistakes they spoke of. Of course, I didn't know what those mistakes were. For years I held my life hostage for fear of making mistakes.

From that time on I have had a fierce drive for self-improvement. As I kept hearing, life is short and it is our job as souls to find our way back to enlightenment, I wanted to fulfill that promise. This is the only thing I have ever been ambitious about in my life. I have never been driven in a career and not even much in my personal life. It has always been about finding enlightenment. To put it in terms people around me understood, I said that what I wanted to be when I grew up was a saint.

Since I wanted to make the most of my life, I tried to figure out what my soul was in this life to learn as quickly as I could so that I could get working on it.

I found this to be impossible as a child and a teenager. At that time too many things are still developing and each experience is a brand new one, so it is hard to see any pattern emerging. These things crystallize much better when we are adults.

Now I can see some of those patterns and experiences that are leading me toward being okay with some difficult things. For example, I can now see that issues of jealousy have always been present in my life and are one of the hardest things for me to face.

Jealousy obviously doesn't make any sense in the framework of my beliefs, since my soul is growing and experiencing things as it needs to to move forward and it cannot be compared to anyone else. And yet, I find myself experiencing fierce jealousy towards people who are succeeding where I feel that I'm failing. I've had protective jealousy over my close friendships. I have not had much jealousy in my relationships probably because I have always chosen men who have been rejected by other girls so that I don't have to compete.

The first step in dealing with something like this is to see it. So that's where I am now, acknowledging that it is there and practicing letting go of the negative emotions when they arise.

I still strive for enlightenment, though at a less frenetic pace then when I was a teenager. I'm better now at not criticizing myself for my failures or mistakes and to just pick myself up and keep trying.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"No day but today"

Prateek made an excellent point in the comments on the last post. I do fret too much. The great thing about this blog is that it has shown me that. I had no idea just how much worry my brain was producing until I saw it written out here.

An important part of Hinduism is to stay present because the present is truly the only thing we can effect. You may have heard the poem, "Look to this day...for yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow a vision. Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope." (I actually saw it in a Narcotics Anonymous booklet once). It is originally a Sanskrit proverb.

It is hard to imagine not planning for the future. I think there is a line to be drawn, because some amount of forethought should go into the future, but not nearly as much as we tend to think. Tomorrow will take care of itself based on what we do today. Worry never solves anything. As much as I know that intellectually, it doesn't stop me from worrying excessively.

Logically we can see there is no point to worry. The only time to create action or change is in the current moment. When people present me with scenarios of what-ifs I can't answer them because I can only know what I will do in a particular situation when it is in front of me. There is an idea in Hinduism that when you are fully present and a dilemma arises, you will naturally know what the right thing for that moment is.

Most of the time I trust deeply in that. I don't plan the future much. My worries about offending people are the only real jumps into the future, because until someone actually tells me outright, in the moment, that they are upset by something I am doing, then it is just a hypothetical and dwelling on it does no good.

It is the past I have trouble with and that makes even less sense. The past is done and cannot be changed, and yet I am plagued with some regret and some wondering how things would be different if I had made different choices. Obviously this is counter-productive! I'm not sure how to stop, though, as even my sub-conscious gets in on the act. I have frequent dreams about an emotionally abusive ex-fiancée and the nights I don't dream of him, I dream about my dear friend who was killed in a car accident recently. My mind refuses to be at peace.

And that is why Hinduism emphasizes training the mind through meditation and other disciplines. We should be in control of our minds because we are the boss and the mind is our servant. I'll have to wait for another post to explain what I mean by the personal pronoun here. After all, if we are not our minds, what are we?

But, the point today is, only now can be changed and the choices we make in the now are what creates our fate.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jessica Simpson

Easter was absolutely fine. People thought my dress was pretty (I was way over-dressed, but that's a common occurrence, not enough opportunity to get dressed up these days). They also assumed my bindi was a piece of jewelry, so no one questioned its meaning.

It was a little odd listening in on conversations about which Catholic school my boyfriend's baby niece will be going to, but that's the sort-of thing you just have to get used to in an inter-faith relationship.

Last night I was looking through my OnDemand stations and found Jessica Simpson's new show about beauty around the world. There was an episode taking place in Mumbai.

In case you haven't heard about it, this show is about Jessica Simpson and two of her friends traveling to different places around the world to learn about what that culture finds beautiful. They also try out different local beauty treatments and talk to people. I think it's a great idea.

It seems that a lot of people in America have a lack of understanding of diversity and it is so easy to get sucked into the Hollywood standard of beauty (and believe me, it's really bad if you actually live in Southern California!). It seems like it will be a great experience for Jessica Simpson to be able to learn about other standards of beauty and to bring other young girls along with her.

The Mumbai episode was a little disappointing because it was so brief and surface-level. That's how it is bound to be on a show like this, with only one episode in each place. It's too bad because there is so much complexity to India and the ideas of beauty.

Still, it did a nice job and I'm so happy to see India represented. One of Jessica Simpson's friends summed up their impression of Mumbai along the lines of, here inner beauty really matters and you can also enjoy outer beauty and can enjoy the trappings of outer beauty because it is a celebration of inner beauty. Something like that.

They also tried out a group of laughing yogis. I have never heard of this, but it looked pretty delightful, a whole group of Indian aunties and uncles just laughing uproariously in a park.

I'm looking forward to watching more episodes, but I'm curious (knowing how much was left out or not completely represented in this episode) what will be missing from the episodes I watch about cultures I am not familiar with. It might be a jumping off point for doing research and learning more.

No news yet on the India trip, but I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see if it really could be done. It's been a long time since I've wanted something this badly. I told my dad about it and he was concerned that this group would work me day and night and not let me see the sites or something like that. My mom was more excited about it. I'll let you know as soon as I know more!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Exciting Possibility...

I love my Hindi meet-up group. The people there are so friendly and fun and welcoming. I don't do a whole lot of Hindi speaking, but I feel encouraged by the parts of it I do understand. I have a real feel for the language now.

Last night we had dinner with the group and my boyfriend impressed everyone by being able to write his name in Hindi script. The little scrap of paper got passed all around.

Before dinner, my boyfriend took me to India Sari Palace, a clothing store that was on the way. It was so much fun. I bought two new suits and I scoped out the wedding lenghas and jewelry sets!

One of the other great things about the Hindi group is that it is fantastic for networking. Whatever you're interested in, someone always knows a website or an organization or another person to help you.

One of the girls there told me that she was going to India this summer to teach in an orphanage. Then she suggested that I should come.

At first this seemed crazy, but throughout the night I kept thinking about it. It is actually a fantastic opportunity. I have waited for years for money and time to be together for me to manage a trip to India. My parents visited without me a few years ago and I was crushed that I couldn't go because of work. It has seemed impossible because I don't know anyone there anymore. My cousin who lived in Bangalore for ten years is now back in the U.S. I want to go to India so badly, and yet I couldn't figure out how.

She said that with this organization they take care of where you live and what you eat for two weeks and they pick you up and drop you off at the airport. I would at least know her, so I wouldn't feel completely alone in a new place.

The money would be tricky, I would probably have to put it on my credit card and pay back later. But I have a very flexible job at the moment. I am also in school and I am signed up for a summer class, so I might have to drop that or see if I can make up the work.

I have been wanting to do some volunteering and I have lately been going baby-crazy, so helping at an orphanage would be perfect for what I want to do right now.

I'm anxiously awaiting more information from the girl I met last night. It feels like an opportunity has been dropped right into my lap and I would regret it forever if I didn't do everything possible to take advantage of it.

In other news, it's Easter today and I am going to my boyfriend's family wearing a suit with a bindi. Should be interesting... :)