ManjuI came to the ashram in 1991 with my parents and sister, when I was 3 years old. I had met Amma when I was 2 in the US. We lived in Amritapuri for 7 years and I did home school. When I was 10 Amma said we should go back for my and my sister’s education.
During my first visit back to the ashram (2005) Amma told me to be a doctor and in my second visit people suggested I study at the AMRITA Medical School (AIMS). I went to visit it and fell in love with it.  The first thing I saw was the atrium with all the statues and I was hooked.  Also, the fact that they play bhajans throughout the hospital twice a day had a big effect.  When I asked Amma about studying there, she said “AIMS, yes!”. I started in 2010. It was definitely a big adjustment but Amma helped me throughout.  Especially in the beginning, when I would come to the ashram every weekend  – after challenging times in my studies and life-style at the Campus. But Amma would always know what was bothering me and give me the perfect advice. My first year was very interesting because I loved anatomy and had many chances to do dissection.  At one point, when I was feeling down Amma told a story of someone who fainted when they went to the dissection hall and said “…but you’re not like that!” I also met some wonderful people from different years and different courses who really supported me. It  was particularly nice to be with people who loved bhajans as much as I do.  School in general is much more strict than what I was used to in the US, but having daily prayers and support from Amma made it worth it.
I finished my exams last year and now completed a 1 year internship. I received today, along with my 90 classmates, my graduation certificate from Amma. A very special moment for all of us!
Soon I will be going to the US to continue my higher education, and my plan and desire is to come back and work at the AMRITA Hospital.

Manju (Larissa Herke), Canada

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