I can't always get on-line to post, so here are a bunch of posts all at once. Enjoy!
Things I miss:
-A mgr who speaks my language and is disciplined in his approach to work.
-A landlord that ensures everything is clean and properly functioning.
-Heat available at the turn of a knob.
-A “getaway vehicle” that enables me to get out & explore expediently.
-Knowing when to be where with the confidence that scheduled events normally occur as planned.
-The food that suits me best.
-Clothes for every occasion.
-Available internet connectivity on my laptop.
-Seeing dear faces everyday in person.
Things I enjoy:
-The most amazing view.
-Evening walks through the field.
-Running at a higher elevation.
-Practicing simplicity of wardrobe, food, language, travel, scheduling.
-Short commute to work.
-Conversations about family and life purpose (in English, no less!)
Let me tell you about the road from Dharamsala yesterday evening. I wish you could have seen it so I will do my best to recreate it in your mind’s eye. But first I have to tell you about the 5-1/2 hours I had just spent at the Foreign Registration Office so you can understand why that drive was so welcome.
First, the registration official told me it’s illegal for my landlord to rent to a foreigner. So Sukhdev and I tramped across the street to a cybercafé and composed another letter to outline how I was staying with RTDC for the duration of my fellowship. When questioned whether I was single or double, I tentatively answered, “double?” Once I had filled out the registration form in quadruplet, my file status became “under consideration.” Sukhdev and I went to lunch and returned – my file was still “under consideration.” The Police Superintendent was in a meeting all day and the Assistant Superintendent was at lunch. We then met up with an RTDC Advisory Board member and returned - my file was still “under consideration.” 5-1/2 hours after entering the building, I was finally a proud holder of official foreigner registration papers.
Now, back to the drive. The Dhauladar Mountains pierced through misty shrouds to our north as we drove east from Dharamsala. Driving past hillsides covered in tea bushes and pines, the sun sank behind us into golden waves. Ascending the hill to Palampur, the cotton candy pink clouds contrasted with the baby blue sky and the low-hanging purple clouds turned gray. The voluminous clouds swathed the sky from mighty mountains to the left to tea plantations to the right. Tuning out the Hindi from the front seat, I marveled at creation, captivated by the natural wonders I am privileged to witness.
here are some random musings:
-I’m growing out my eyebrows. Mom would be so proud – no more checkerboards. I figure that I’m enough of a spectacle already, no one will notice if my eyebrows are not properly groomed.
-I skipped a surprise party tonight to write a concept note on a watershed assessment and pilot project in palampur. plus I got to write it with a really cool lady who’s doing phd research in the area.
-I hosted a dance party Saturday night complete with ballet AND bangra!
-I’m teaching ballet lessons in exchange for bangra lessons, starting today.
-I went on a site visit yesterday to the watershed area mentioned previously. I got to rock climb a tiny bit, too. better than a day at the office! we ate samosas between white bread at a goddess temple atop a hill overlooking the palampur valley.
it sounds so beautiful where you are...and i am so happy that you were able to do a bit of rock climbing! tim and i will probably be going saturday (which means i will be belaying (spelling?) for the first time!) i'm excited! i think about you often, and i talk to Dad about how you are doing...i hope you are able to have peace and comfort in your living conditions and that you are happy. I MISS YOU THOUGH! love you sarah!
Wow, what a great blog, Sarah. It's awesome that you can use this vehicle to keep us posted like this, carry on! Blessings!
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