Why, hello there blog!
It’s certainly been a while, but now I’m back in Shillong safe and sound. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to journal better, so hopefully I’m getting off on the right foot by blogging 21 days into the New Year =/ Eesh. I’ll do better.
My vacation at home started with (literally) my longest Christmas Eve ever. I gained many hours because I was traveling westward from New Delhi, and got home just in time for the last church service of the day. Of course, my time at home was wonderful. I spent so much time with family and friends who were in town for or able to visit during the holidays, including Jon who was able to visit from Pittsburgh. Speaking of Bah Jo(h)ns, I took one short trip up to New York City and was able to meet Bah John from Britain, who lived in the Khasi Hills with Annie Margaret Barr for six months in the 60’s! We were very lucky to be in the same city on the same day, and had a nice coffee break together. In other Khasi Hills at home related news, I was also able to give a talk about the orphanage at UUCF, which was really well attended. Thank you to everyone who came! Right before I left, I got my applications in to Vanderbilt and Harvard right before I left (fingers crossed for both of those!). And lastly, I was able to watch one of the Steelers’ playoff games. Here we go, Steelers, here we go, Pittsburgh’s going to the Super Bowl!
Time coming to and from Delhi was also well spent. On the way back home, I spent time at the Alen-de-Lastic Children’s Village (where I volunteered in 2006), with my friends in the town near the Children’s Villages, and with a friend from elementary school, Sarah Beth, who was visiting India for the first time. Ms. MD also took the “mothers” and I to the zoo in Guwahati, which was really a lot of fun.
Because of my super sweet Carnegie Mellon sweatshirt, I met another Pittsburgher on my plane ride from Dulles to Paris. We decided to take an excursion to Notre Dame during our layover time, which was successful. It was definitely a better way to spend my four hours in France! On the way back to Shillong, I again spent time at the orphanage outside New Delhi and with my friends in the local town. I visited their temple on Amma’s birthday, and the brothers and I went out to see an adorable Bollywood film called Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (loosely translated to Heaven Makes a Couple). Overall, a great transistion back to being in India.
The “mothers” and I started back to the northeast on the 19th via the Rajdhani Express, one of the fancier trains in India. All food and water was included, as well as the promise of only passengers on the train (as opposed to the usual influx of “hawkers” and beggars). Our two ladies really enjoyed their time in Delhi and said that they’d learned a lot about nutrition and general childcare. Of course, they’re happy to be in Meghalaya again, but we’re all glad that they took this opportunity. Many thanks again to the S.O.S. organization!
My only possible regret for all this traveling is that I entirely missed the inauguration. I’m certain I can watch the speeches and performances on YouTube later on, but it’s not the same. Happy belated Obama Day to you all!
Now that I’m back in Shillong, serious work is starting already. I’ll return to Kharang on Friday to check out how construction has been going, and then it’ll be a whirlwind through February. We still have to buy all of our furniture, paint the walls, get a schedule and constitution drafted, and actually take up the task of raising 14 children! More updates will come as I get fully updated on how things have been going in my absence.