Category: India 2016-17

  • catch and release 

    catch and release 

    By Jack Newton  little fish slipped between my fingers their eyes marbles under water and their fins knives of paper  sunbeams danced upon my wrists  and set joyful bonfires  all along the skin coral antlers pricked my feet their ridges like tiny backs nipping at the unprotected flesh  There is no minimum size to these…

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  • From Kathryn’s Journal

    From Kathryn’s Journal

    By Kathryn James  opportunities— As I sit here with Rosie one hour before everyone is awake, I look into the Himalayas, reminding myself that every time my mind wanders I should be in the moment. Forgetting that time, missing certain foods, and thinking about what friends are doing at home all contribute to me not…

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  • A Letter to Agora 

    A Letter to Agora 

    By Kwaku Arthur  Dear Agora, I say namaste  To your irreplaceable scenery  To the welcoming taste of tea To chacha-ji and Pana-ji And terraces as far as my eyes can see To the ever-so majestic mountains  Scraping the sky An extension from where I currently lie To the power which links your people to the…

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  • This Place

    This Place

    Today we spent the day with PhD candidates who have dedicated their lives to flora and fauna both invasive and endemic to the Andaman Islands. We traversed the jungle, climbing up and down impossibly thick-rooted trees and ledges; we learned the sleeping patterns of lizards; we spotted geckos as vibrant green as the tops of…

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  • Wow


    I’ll keep this brief because we are about to feast on chicken tikka and fish: The Andaman Islands are beautiful—well, that’s an understatement. To be honest, you should probably feel a twinge of jealousy right now. Or, maybe you should choose to take the higher road and feel happy for your intrepid travelers. They’re certainly…

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  • On the Road (again)

    On the Road (again)

    Good morning from the domestic terminal! We are all checked in and ready to fly to Port Blair to continue our massive Ganges watershed investigation. Despite our early morning, we are happy.  Last night we had a lively discussion about Delhi—a complicated place, for sure. Framing the day amidst the remnants of the Moguls in…

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  • A Poem

    By Evan Pausic speak the language of flowers remember when your mother’s hand touched your sickly forehead  the world watches  and is blind  I can see the top a snow capped mountain we only know the outlines of what we see I see the flower in fire on the terrace  I see the flower  shining…

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  • Births


    By Erik DeMario India inspires births in people. We were told about the experience; we were taught the experience, but only through the experience itself can we truly grasp a broadened perspective on life. It feels distant to be in a place where there is no such thing as a bad view. The tall, snow…

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  • Back in Delhi

    Back in Delhi

    After an overnight bus trip through the circuitous streets of the Himalayas, we have returned to the nation’s capital. The plains are warm, bustling, and cacophonous. In Agora we’d forgotten the myriad of horn sounds that underscore urban India; we’ve certainly been reacquainted.  We are leaving in a few short minutes to make the most…

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  • A few pictures…

    A few pictures…

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  • Last Day

    This morning we’ve dispersed along this mountainside in order to say goodbye for now to our home away from home. There is always a certain heaviness that characterizes this final day in Agora.  We started our morning with a few sun salutations that faced the snow caps. As we stretched, women walked by with baskets…

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  • Once in a Lifetime

    By Eliza Carr Schmidt  People at school always said this trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity or that it changed their lives. For me, I didn’t really get that feeling until the long bus ride from the tent camp on the Ganges to Uttarkashi. That bus ride, though long and for some an…

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  • Never Stop

    By Zoe Harding We currently reside in a place that has existed for five hundred years. The people have sculpted the steep mountainside into a small village and hundreds of terraces of farmland. They have taken the wildness of the young Himalayas and made it their own. Agora is just one of the many villages…

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  • Good Morning

    Agora mornings are some of the best: mountain spring bucket baths, sun spilling over snow caps, and chai after chai after chai.  We’ve spoken a great deal about joy and happiness here; really, it feels only natural to do so. The fulfillment here is tangible in the chapatis we flatten (totally ineptly but with great…

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  • Choice

    By Kelsey English Up in Agora, I look down at the jagged rocky paths that are woven throughout the side of the mountain, connecting each terrace to the ones above and below. Along those paths are countless women carrying heavy baskets full of natural fertilizer on their backs. Today I was one of those women.…

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