In India at last!

Posted on January 14th, 2014 by

The group has finally arrived in India after a very long flight.  They were picked up at the airport and taken to the YMCA for some well needed rest, but not for long!  They have not had internet access yet and so the Gustavus Center for International and Cultural Education has been asked to do a post and let you know what we have been receiving via text messages from the group.  After their arrival the  group was soon in the streets of Mumbai visiting the small shops which primarily use children for labor.  They also visited the large slum in Mumbai called, Dharavi, where some filming from “Slum Dog Millionaire ” was done.  By the end of their visit the group, joined by many children and  teenagers, was  in the middle of Dharavi  singing in Hindi and English “We shall Overcome.”  In another visit they sang and danced with brothel children.  A powerful and incredible day!  The group proceeded on to take a night train to Nagpur. The journey was long, very interesting, but safe.  The next day was spent in Anandvan Ashram, a colony where those who do not otherwise fit in Indian society live, work and help each other.  This includes people who are blind, maimed, have leprosy, congenital defects etc.   Here they visited hospitals and schools, singing alot along the way.  This has been their favorite visit so far.  The girls in the group picked out beautiful fabric and by the end of their visit the next day, the women of Anandvan had made each of them a sari.  From here they left on another train to New Delhi.  This ride will get them to their destination early in the morning on Wednesday.  From there they will go to the Taj Mahal and Red Fort in Agra.  Hopefully by Wednesday night they will have internet access and be able to make their own posts directly from India. The group is having a powerful and meaningful experience. 



  1. Patti Goke says:

    Please share with Todd that in his absence “Todd on a Stick” is back!

  2. Cynthia Schulze says:

    Back in the frozen zone we have been following your itinerary closely. Along with witnessing the transformative power of hope, love and cross-culteral connection, you are a part of it. Wow, what a study of contrasts you are experiencing! You are all such interesting and adventurous people to take on such an experience.
    Nameste to KATE and all, Thia

  3. Dale Ortlip says:

    Greetings to all of the Gusties in India.
    You are fine ambassadors representing yourselves, your school, your country, and your faith. I can only imagine your emotions on witnessing the disparities of this foreign country to your homeland. We all have seen pictures, news clips, and read about but, I suspect you have found there are nothing like being a witness to; the looks of the young children, the forgotten, social injustice, and the outcasts from society. The singing likely helps you overcome the emotions you feel and sends a message of unity. An example of how the arts can connect between cultures. Wisdom can be gained from reflecting on your experiences, hope you have opportunity to do this alone or with fellow Gusties and staff. I suspect you will have a stronger realization that there is much that needs to be done in this world stage – also at home. Humanity is fragile and ever-changing. The world needs your talents and abilities – your generation can and will make a difference. Hope you all find your calling and acquire the ability to answer it.

    God Bless