David and I were in Amdavad from January 13 – 23 for a world wind of work for him and a flying around trying to visit all our favorite sites and seeing as many as possible of special friends. Well, you may have noticed that I have been back for nearly a month and haven’t posted on the trip. It has been a very unusual month. . . . . for several reasons. . . .
First, I was very sad. . . yes maybe depressed not to be staying in India. David had decided he would let someone else go with the students this trip, but because we were there, I met and fell in love with the new group! In just the short time we were there with them, they adjusted happily and easily. The students who chose to do their abroad semester in India are quite adventurous and independent.
One problem we had to address was first mice in two of the rooms in the hotel where the program is housed and then reports of a rat! This was India but that is not acceptable. But we wondered what was the solution in conservative Hindu Gujarat? We thought to kill the uninvited guests was not on the list of solutions but we were surprised. We were assured that there was some electrical device with a high piercing sound that would keep away the rodents. But they also said that poison was used. I guess that tourists win over rodents. We have heard nothing about rodents returning! And happily, no more sightings!
David went over to ensure that the new plans were indeed in place for Ted, his wife, Jean and the students. He thought since he was working, there was no need for me to go! Oh but I had different ideas.! I had to go. . . and promised not to bug him or insist on holding people’s hands to cross the street! Each time I leave India, I think this is forever, that I will never get back and that make me ever so sad. I remember having a very hard time with that sad or depressed feeling both in 2013 and 2015 on returning to the States after a semester in India.
The other real challenge both while in India and when we got home was severe jetlag! And I mean severe. On our arrival in India after nearly 30 hours of traveling, we didn’t want to waste a minute, but just pushed through fatigue but found ourselves wide awake at 3 am. It was remarkably easy to stay awake because we were so happy to be there. Slowly, we slept a little more, enough to keep us going but with long periods of being wide awake during the night. All along we kept thinking, we can sleep when we get back to New York.
Well, guess what? We had double jet lag when we got home and it lasted for days and days and weeks and weeks. Poor David had work to do and lectures to give, and meeting to attend so he didn’t have much time to be depressed with the cold and the snow. But the 3 AM question was, “Are you awake, too?” Slowly, we have now been acclimated back to normal here. But especially I miss.Incredible India. ( At Joey Fala’s recital, we met an international pilot who shared a formula to avoid jet lag. I don’t remember the details, as I never do, but will remember to Google it before another trip. )
The first morning we arrived in Amdavad and were riding around in our rickshaw in the chaos of the city. . of the country, in and out of cars, rickshaws, camels, elephants, monkeys, and motorbikes.
I felt at home. . . . I was home. . . . I hope to return again. . . . that is my dream!
India steals a place from your heart and you are never the same again anywhere else.