Me at Jaswant Tada
I've hidden behind my site for a long time, because it isn't really about me. Still, sometimes it's nice to put a face to the words.
My name is Lisa. I've lived most of my life in various states in the U.S. (nine so far), but I've also traveled to many places in Europe and Australia, and studied in India for several months, mostly in Rajasthan.
I think my favorite side trip in India was to Shimla by way of Dharamsala, where I visited St John's Church in the Wilderness, with its old graveyard deep in the shade of tall trees. I loved the green and cool of the hills after so much time on the edge of the Thar Desert, where only the wealthy had the luxury of grass. I liked traveling on my own for a while — even being the only foreigner on a bus, arriving at night in Shimla to be assured my hotel did not exist. (Of course, it did, but I found it only after going to the phone center next to the adult theatre behind the church and assuring my impromptu guide that no, he was not welcome to come up to my room with me. Too many American movies, maybe?)
I graduated from the University of Virginia with high distinction with degrees in Anthropology and Asian Studies. My focus was the intersection of religion and environment. Since then, I’ve worked with the government in foreign disaster assistance, as a staff editor and ghostwriter for an inspirational network, as a freelance writer and editor, and as a teacher at home for my youngest child.
I’m a Mensa member, and I dabbled with a writers’ group, but I’m not really a joiner. Running a house, designing curricula, teaching my son, taking him to activities, caring for my elderly mother-in-law, and doing the odd project keep me busy enough. It’s amazing what complex subjects you can explore with kids if you break them down simply. I love to learn, and probably my favorite thing about teaching is the chance to pursue questions with my child and learn new things with him.
Some of that exploration I do here. My perspective is Christian and largely comparative. I love learning to know other places and people and what brings meaning to their lives. Faith is so interwoven with the various aspects of Indian living, it can be explored almost endlessly. Even when I think I know an aspect of the culture, I’ll run across some new ethnography or personal account and be amazed by this whole new window into the diversity of life there. So I keep looking, and I keep sharing.
One afterthought: I love books, so I’ve selected many about various topics specific to religion in India. Feel free to use the search box to find a different product if your interests lie elsewhere. You can use the contact form to suggest a product, if you know of one that’s especially good and might be useful or enjoyable to someone else. You’re also welcome to contact me to suggest a topic of interest — something you’d like to know about religion in India. If I know it or want to know it and have the time, I’ll try to accommodate.
Enjoy. Thanks for visiting!