Friday, September 30, 2005

In the continuing adventure of learning to blog we present you with two views of our home for the year, Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute in Chennai (Madras) India. We will attempt to add and link more pictures, but as you can tell from the tilted one, we have some things to learn yet to do that and to give you a better picture of our setting.

That tilted picture, set right, is the administrative and classroom building for Gurukul. A main road of Chennai (Purasawakam High Road) lies past the building, under the arch of trees; you can sometimes hear the honk and bell ringing of the road in the classrooms, under the whir of six high-speed ceiling fans. Gurukul's history goes back decades. In the middle period of its history it moved to and combined with United Theological College, Bangalore. Since 1985 it has returned to this campus, and grown to offer BD, MTh and DTh degrees on behalf of the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches of India. Under the banner of a "Bold Theological Vision" it has emphasized the study of theology in relation to communication issues, dalit (untouchable) life in India, women's concerns and national development. Students in the BD program intern not only in congregations but also in NGO's. The building itself demonstrates some interesting plannng and financing, as the street-side "front" of the building contains a three floor "mall" including our nearest grocery store.

The top picture shows you "home," our flat on the first floor (above ground floor) in married study (MTh) housing. The window on the right is where I sit at this moment, having converted the bedroom to something of a study. The central window is our living room; concealed behind the columns is our bedroom window. Gurukul has provided air conditioners; we have not used them, but run the ceiling fans all the time in our 80 and 90 degree weather. Our downstairs neighbor is also a visiting prof, coming from Bemidji, MN, after years of teaching experience in India and Hong Kong. At dinner last night in a nearby restaurant we picked up from him much history of the church and the area. Ordinarily our meals come in the Church Women's Center, through the gate at the right in that picture. The center houses tailoring, typing and computer skill training programs for women, as well as housing literally perhaps twenty women studying or working in Chennai, in need of a safe place to call home and three good (Indian) meals a day. Breakfasts are some kind of bread (chapatti, dose, or idli, usually); lunch and dinner are rice; always with some spicy "soup" mix, usually with a vegetables; all to be eaten with the right hand.

With two weeks of classes under our belt I have learned as a professor how little I understand of Indian teaching and learning styles. Miriam has begun to learn what it means to teach English to Korean visiting students. We both thank God for being here, and for your interest.


  • You might want to try Picasa from Google for simple image editing and blogger support. Or not. Thanks for the update, give your wife a hug and kiss for me... teaching Koreans in India. Hmph.

    By Blogger Anoki Ha Ish, at Fri Oct 07, 08:08:00 AM PDT  

  • Hey Dr. Carter and Miriam,
    just wanted to say hello again, hope things are going well for you. Looks like a nice home and place to work. I have a bit of bad news for you and Miriam, the Lexington Care Center is closing at the end of the year. Many of the residents are moving in the coming weeks but I thought that you might want to know. The AEX group is praying for you. We are traveling to Ft. Wayne next weekend (Oct. 27-30). I will say hello to Tim and Jon for you. God's blessings to you and my prayers are also with you.

    By Blogger Andy, at Wed Oct 19, 10:28:00 PM PDT  

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