We had our last actual India class yesterday. When we are in India as part of our grade we have to conduct at least 5 interviews. We had 3 guests come in to practice our interviews. We talked to a husband and wife from India, and a chemistry professor who teaches at UNCW who is from India. They were all born in India and then moved to the United States. The husband came to the US to get a PhD in Robotics Engineering while his wife was doing her residency in India. He got a job at Corning so his wife moved here and had to redo her residency and take the Boards again. The chemistry professor came to the US for a PhD in Chemistry at Penn State. His parents wanted him to get married since he was already 31. They put out a classified ad in the newspaper in India looking for Indian girls in the US. They put together a list of girls and sent it to the professor. He just laughed at the list and never contacted anyone. Two months later a guy called him asking how much money he makes, what kind of projects he's working on. He was calling for his sister who was one of the Indian girls. The professor said I'm not interested. He realized he better call the other girl who had his number. She was a student at LSU. He called and said “I’m not interested in marriage right now, I don’t want you to be waiting around for me.” She said, “Who’s waiting around? I have my own things to do.” Then her parents tried to set her up with another guy and he wouldn’t contact her but he asked about her where she worked. So she called the chemistry professor to tell him about it. Then they started talking more frequently and eventually met. They had a blast together but he was in Pennsylvania and she was in Louisiana. They went on a road trip together and had a lot of fun. His parents asked about her and the professor admitted they were dating. After hanging up the phone he got a ton of calls from relatives congratulating him on the upcoming marriage. He didn’t say they weren’t getting married but just didn’t make any plans. Eventually the two decided to get married, but they were living long distance. He got a job in Nebraska and she was working in Chicago. The phone calls from relatives didn’t stop until they had their first child. It was a pretty amusing story.

I have been really busy with the end of the semester. I have 4 papers due, one lab final, and 3 other finals all around the same time. I just gave a presentation on a paper I wrote for the India class called "Environmental Management of the Ganges River in the 21st Century." The presentation went really well and the class (all political science/public administration majors) seemed to be interested in the talk. The Ganges River is a very important spiritual and cultural icon in India, people see it as an actual "godess." They bathe in the river to receive eternal salvation (called moksha), which is release from the cycle of reincarnation. The river is supposed to purify them. Although since so many people live in the river basin (one tenth of the world population), there are many pollutants in the water. Raw sewage, runoff from agricultural fields, and industrial waste all goes into the river. This has health impacts on the people, spreading disease, and in some cases causing cancer. I am excited to visit Varanasi which is a very holy site along the Ganges River with 3 of my classmates after the actual course is over.