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An Aussie Went To Woodstock... By Lucinda Malgas

UPON arrival at Woodstock in January 1999, monkeys, donkeys and a breathtaking landscape greeted me. I experienced diseases Australians only read about in medical Lucinda Malgas journals and find difficult to pronounce. I soon encountered class lists with student's names, which made me doubt my ability to read and articulate vowels in a coherent manner. I was at Woodstock, in India, another continent, another 'world'.

I applied to come to Woodstock through Carey Grammar in Melbourne. The two schools share a student exchange program. Carey staff are encouraged to maintain the links between the schools by coming to teach here, to learn from this valuable experience and broaden our perspectives. I longed to see the mysterious land of India while attempting to broaden my perspectives and hoped to learn about a different education system. Woodstock has offered me so much more. I am learning more than I could ever have anticipated (personally and professionally), and am privileged to be part of a community which is so vibrant and caring.

The students at this school are also remarkable. On the whole, the care, concern and love for each other are an amazing testimony to the maturity and beautiful hearts of Woodstock students. I am part of something special and will always take that with me. The giardia, the diarrhea, the bush-fires, the monsoon, the earthquake? Keeps life interesting, entertaining and makes me realize what is truly important. What is life without challenges anyway?

I'll miss the simplicity and complexity of life in this very special community. I'll miss its incredible beauty and ability to laugh at itself. I will long remember how it welcomed and accepted me with arms outstretched and an open mind. An Aussie went to Woodstock and left her heart behind.

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