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Ulrike Ulrike
A german in Kausani. Ulrike lives for one year in the Lakshmi Ashram. She helps to educate girls and young women of the surrounding mountain area.

"Since I am 11 years old I have had one big wish:
I wanted to go to India. Now I am here."

Where are you born? What do you like about the place/country? I was born in Munich, Germany. I like the atmosphere. It is very nice to live there. Maybe I like it, because I was born there. It`s my home, "Heimat" for me. Of course I enjoyed the beergardens at autumn and the christmas markets at wintertime. I liked to go out at night with other people. Compared to Germany in India the people work hard during the day and in the evening everyone is tired, no-one goes out.

About Germany I like the freedom. You are not so restricted in your life. Especially as a woman you can decide on your own, more than in other countries. And you are able to have a very nice childhood in Germany. That is maybe also missing in a lot of countries of the world.

Where do you live now? What do you like about this town/area? Since September 2002 I live in India, in Kausani at the Lakshmi Ashram for one year. It is totally different to the life in Germany. The life here is so simple. You don`t need so much to be content and happy. And I really enjoy this beautiful landscape. And the Ashram is a special world for it`s own. The Ashram has a very good society. It`s amazing to live with so much people. We are about 60 people. We have our own vegetables, own cows. We are more or less independent, provide ourselves with all neccessary things.

What do you like about India? The Joy of Life, the openess, the beauty of the landscape, exspecially in this mountain area.
In India the people always have a smile for you. And if something you want doesn`t work, there is someone who helps you to get ist work.
Furtheron I like travelling by bus in India. It is real fun.

What do you like to celebrate? What is your favorite holiday or celebrating occasion? Christmas. Maybe I say this now, because I know now what I am missing. I miss the time of advent in Germany with a special kind of "nice" coldness and comfort. You can stay in the cold and go into a warm room afterwards. You can have a warm shower. It is very convenient.
Have you travelled before? My farest and my nicest travel is this one to India. It was a long dream of mine.
Where would you like to go next? Groenland. Because it sounds so nice. Also I would like to go to Norway and Swede.
What means of transportations do you normally use? by foot. In Germany by bike.
Do you live with other people? I live together with about 60 women in the Ashram.
What do you especially like to do? Alone? With your family/friends? When I am alone I like to read books. In India, at the Ashram, I like the time at about 6 pm between the last daylight and the praying. The work of the day is done. Everyone is very relaxed.
What event during the last week was especially nice? Yesterday was a very nice day. It was a different day to the other days in the Ashram. We all celebrated together the anniversary of the Ashram. At noon everyone sat outside and was spinning.
Which event in your life was especially nice? The time I finished school, got my "Abitur". I felt very free, liked it to be inbetween everything. I don`t had to do anything. No obligations.
What would be your fondest wish? My fondest wish was to visit India. This country is so fascinating because of it`s culture and the different ways of life. My wish is to get the opportunity to look from another point of view into a totally different way of life. Since I am 11 years old I have this one wish: Going to India.
Do you have any message or advice for our readers or us? Enjoy every moment. It may never come back.
Ulrike, 19 years old, Lakshmi Ashram, Kausani, Uttaranchal, India.
7th December 2002.

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