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Trip Start Jun 28, 2009
Trip End Aug 07, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Monday, June 29, 2009

Having a blast getting ready for India- the faculty at University of Madison-Wisconsin have organized an engaging and very helpful pre-departure orientation. Today I was up bright and early (wonder how long this motivation will last...) to jump on the treadmill. Our schedule is jam packed for the entire six weeks- waking up a bit early will be key to getting some time to myself each day. Much later I also realized that Madison would make great new running territory- tomorrow and Wednesday I'll savor my last "outside" runs. It's a small college town- how lost can I get?

In addition to adjusting to the group travel lifestyle, I'm also getting more familiar with my new camera. It has a "food" setting I used today during our lunch at Madison's Maharani Indian Restaurant (delicious!). And on my way back from the drug store tonight I was lucky enough to find a street light that had fallen on the sidewalk. The universe is conspiring to make me an amateur photographer.

Lectures today: brief intros to ancient history in South Asia, different religious traditions of South Asia, and architecture in India. Best of all, we ate dinner with children's book author Kashmira Sheth, whose books, Blue Jasmine and Monsoon Afternoon, all the Fulbrighters read before arriving.

This depature orientation is a slice of heaven- they're keeping us well fed and getting us pumped for everything from visiting monastic caves to shopping in Delhi. Tomorrow is our last full day in Madison, and we leave for Delhi via Frankfurt midday on Wednesday. In the meantime, I'm honestly relishing fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal- these will be totally off-limits to my vulnerable digestive system in India. Crunch, crunch!
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