The Land of the Gods » 2013 » January

Entries for January, 2013 in The Land of the Gods

  • jpreyss

    Prayers and healing

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    Since arriving in Kerala nearly three weeks ago, I’ve spent most of my mornings waking up to the sounds of temple prayers and chanting. It’s a sound I’ve been correlating to India; something I knew I’d take back with me ...

  • jpreyss

    Falling off the wellness wagon

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    Yesterday was a bad day. I went to sleep the night before feeling healthy and on the path to recovery. I woke up in the middle of the night with some delightful new symptoms feared by every traveler. I tried ...

  • jpreyss

    14 days of kankles

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    There's nothing worse than being sick in a foreign country, especially when there's a language barrier. You don't know how to get to a doctor, or what the medical and insurance process will be. And if you find a hospital, ...

  • jpreyss

    'Where at least I know I'm free'

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    The more time I spend in India, the more I notice the strong cultural differences between the United States and India. The food and environmental differences are obvious. But there are many subtle differences in male and female behavior that ...

  • jpreyss

    We could learn a thing or two

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    In the past several weeks, we’ve visited many schools and made presentations before the students. Beyond the architecture and the lack of air conditioning, they are surprisingly advanced in curriculum, I believe, compared to the United States. The students have ...

  • jpreyss

    Almost halfway there

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    It's our last night in Kottaym and we'll be departing for Allepy tomorrow morning. We've been in Kerala about two weeks; we're halfway through the trip. I've learned many things on this trip so far, and I'd like to share ...

  • jpreyss

    Orthodoxy and priests-to-be

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    Orthodox Christianity has always fascinated me. For Westerners, Christian orthodoxy – whether Greek, Indian or another branch – may not be as familiar as Roman Catholicism or Protestantism. Here in Kerala, the Indian Orthodox Church reigns supreme among Christians in ...

  • jpreyss

    His Holiness

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    Much preparation occurs when a group of American Rotarians are about to meet the supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kottayam. Just before 9:30 a.m., our group was guided to an upstairs parlor where we were instructed ...

  • jpreyss

    Third stop: Kottayam

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    The sun is rising over Kottayam and I'm sitting on a rooftop terrace looking out into the gray. Hindu temples are singing songs of morning worship, punctuated by the sounds of crows singing in the coconut trees. We arrived yesterday ...

  • jpreyss

    Goodbye, Kollam

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    Saying goodbye is hard. But what do you say to a 12-year-old girl who greets you in the morning with a tearful, "Jenny, I'm leaving for school. Will I never see you again?" For me, I responded with an equally ...

  • jpreyss

    Did I really interview a guru?

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    Swami Brahma Sree Prakasananda I walked slowly down the dirt roads of the Sivagiri Temple compound, and my eyes began to water. “Did I just interview the leading holy guru in Kerala?” I was expecting to spend time with monks, ...

  • jpreyss

    Bridging the cultural gap

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    While staying in Kerala, each member of the Group Study Exchange is hosted by a family. I’m staying with two attorneys, Leena and KG Baiju, and their two children. Their daughter, Pavarthy, or Paru, 12, tells me daily how thrilled ...

  • jpreyss

    Noisy India

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    I never noticed how quiet Victoria is until traveling to India. At all hours of the day and night, birds crow, cars honk, Asian wind instruments echo through the city, Communist party dissenters and advocates drive through the streets and ...

  • jpreyss

    Ambassador of India, Texas

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    Yesterday, it hit me. I'm in India — as a Texas ambassador. We've been here three days now, and each day has challenged me physically, mentally and spiritually. We're not sleeping more than a few hours each night, and each ...

  • jpreyss

    Kerala gods are plenty

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    I now know why Kerala is thought to be the land of the gods. In Trivandrum, God and spirituality are everywhere. In every direction on every street, Hindu temples, mosques and churches intersect and proudly boast their path to God. ...

  • jpreyss

    From Dubai to Trivandrum

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    After 30 hours of continual traveling, we’ve made it to Trivandrum in Kerala. It’s also Wednesday here since we’re 11.5 hours ahead of Texas time. I’m already overwhelmed and exhausted, as are the rest of the team members. My ankles ...

  • jpreyss

    Off to Dubai

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    Before I left the house this morning, I posted a note above my stove. "Welcome home! What did you learn in India?" I posted the note to myself because I'm about to embark on what I know will be one ...

  • jpreyss

    Countdown to India

    By jpreyss in The Land of the Gods

    Namaste! It's hard to believe that in less than a week from today, I'll begin the first leg of my month-long journey to Kerala, India. It seems like only yesterday, I was discussing the possibility of being selected to join ...