The Doctor at the Travel Clinic told me, “Don’t get too close to any animals.”

Don’t ask how close I was when I took these photos

…or how those monkeys got those bananas.

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Welcome to Lotus Adventures!

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So, I’m sure that you know–or at least figured out– that I will be moving to India at the end of June.

I have been awarded a Fulbright-Nehru English Teaching Assistantship and I will be teaching in Kolkata, at an all girls school, for the next nine months.

This blog will chronicle my adventures as a teacher, scholar, journalist and traveler in the land of the lotus flower.

The last time I was in India was July of 2011. I was one of two recipients of the Amanda V. Houston Fellowship at Boston College, which funded my research on the prevention of HIV/AIDS in India. I spent three weeks as a volunteer at Jan Kala Sahitya Manch Sanstha aka JKSM, a local NGO that works to prevent STIs among men who have sex with men (MSM).  I also had the opportunity to travel around Delhi and the beautiful state of Rajasthan. India is the most captivating place that I have ever been to. The country challenges me to think about what it really means to be a woman, an African American, an intellectual, a yogini, and most important of all, a human. The minute I left, I knew I had to go back.

I could take a hundred different trips to a hundred different places in India, exploring a different aspect of Indian culture and society each time. This time around, i’m going to Kolkata, the cultural capital of India located in West Bengal. It’s a shame that I won’t get to put my rudimentary Hindi skills to use (since Kolkatans speak Bengali). But I don’t really care. I’m just excited to learn another language.

I am starting to move into the early stages of preparation for this trip. The early stage of preparation is the most crucial. I need to make sure that I get my vaccines, apply for my visa, and of course, graduate from college. I have no doubts that I am 100% capable of completing all of these things.

And so…the countdown begins!