This blog post is composed entirely of Charlotte’s hand-drawn pictures and words.
Drawing: Person in a winter coat, shivering.
Words: "Boy, it sure is cold in Ohio...good thing I'm in India."
Drawing: The shining sun, a domed temple and buildings, and a girl with a braid.
Words: "Relentless sun" (arrow to sun). "Vaguely Indian backdrop" (arrows to temple and building). "Vaguely me. Imagine that this looks more like me." (Arrows to the girl.)
Words: "I'm spending my spring semester at the University of Hyderabad."
Drawing: Outline of India with a star in the lower middle.
Words: "This is Hyderabad" (arrow pointing to the star). "Ohio this way somewhere" (arrow off the page to the left).
Drawing: Some characters in Indian script.
Words: "This is me showing off" (arrow to script).
Drawing: A buffalo looks at a girl on a bike. A question mark comes out of the girl's mouth.
Words: "This is the buffalo that watches me bike to class each morning" (arrow to the buffalo).
Words: "India has ruined the Starbucks chai tea latte for me with genuine chai."
Drawing: a steaming tea cup.
Words: "Well-drawn tea cup."
Words in parentheses: "Don't tell anyone that I still miss Slow Train's Albino Squirrels, though."
Drawing: A dog stretches, lying on its back.
Words: "Instead of squirrels, U of H has lots of dogs."
Words: "Students dress a little differently."
Drawing: Two people standing side by side, facing forward. They appear to be dressed very differently. The person on the left is an "Obie," and the person on the right is a "U of H student."
Words: "Nose studs" (arrows point to both.) "Multiple patterns" (arrows point to both). "Clothes made in India" (arrows point to both).
Words: "But maybe not THAT differently."
Words: "Now I know what I'm supposed to say about study abroad in India, but I'm still no good at yoga..."
Drawing: A person struggling to touch their toes is labelled "me" and "ouch". A person gracefully stretching is labelled "not me."
Words: "...I haven't been exploring my spirituality..."
Drawing: A western girl on the left is holding a smoking incense stick and says, "Does burning incense count as cultural appropriation?" An Indian girl on the right looks annoyed and says, "Please stop."
Words: "...and I have confirmed all the worst stereotypes about Americans."
Drawing: Self portrait with mouth wide open and something in her hand. She says, "Umm...do you have anything less spicy? Also a fork?"
Words: "Definitely what I look like" (arrow pointing to face). "Food" (arrow pointing to a glob of something in her hand). "Well drawn hand" (arrow pointing to hand).
Words: "But I have also done other things: I have been to the bottom of an operational coal mine..."
Drawing: Wearing safety gear, Charlotte rides downward in the dark on something resembling a ski lift.
Words: "I have seen the beaches of Goa. And I have seen palaces and tombs and temples and cities."
Drawing: A beach with a palm tree and the sun on the horizon.
Words: "And although I miss my friends, and Feve brunch, and the arb, I am glad to be here. Although occasionally I feel like this:"
Drawing: Four happy students stand close together. The person at the left says, "First year of college is going to be the best! I can't wait!" Next, the exact same picture is repeated without any speech. Next, just the lone person at the left is shown, saying nothing. Her image repeats, this time saying, "Third year. I mean the second half of third year of college." She is shown again, alongside a small word, "Future". This is repeated 3 more times with the word "Future" getting larger and larger until it covers her.
Drawing: A few flowers and patterns surround the following text.
Words: "There is nothing like Study Abroad to remind you that the world is wide and full of future."
Drawing: At the bottom of the final panel, in the dark coal mine, Charlotte looks up at all of this going on above her.