So, with the workshop behind us, Stu and I debriefed a bit, shared resources, had coffee and biscuits then walked around Kodai like tourists instead of workshop leaders with a lot on our minds. We dumped our computers back at our hotel, shared a Kingfisher and headed towards a nearby store to buy my rings before dinner. I had found them on our first day but wanted to delay gratification. I said I would buy them for myself after the workshop and that’s exactly what we did. Check them out…
Then we met up with Barbara (Assoc MYPC) and Graham (MYPC) to have dinner at The Carlton. It was really awesome of them to take us out on our last night to celebrate in such a nice place with lots of food and great conversation. Something tells me I will see Graham and his family again in this lifetime. I think this, but I don’t tell him. 🙂
Our last day was spent tying loose ends, checking our emails in the faculty computer suite, and eating dosa at a random restaurant on our way to the elementary and middle years campus. All in all, it was leisurely goodbyes to an awesome place and people and preparing ourselves for our long trek home. 36 hours to be exact.
The car ride was standard. We repeated stories, tried to take pictures of wild monkeys and slept most of the same way back. Upon reaching the turn toward Coimbatore we decided to stop at the Palani Murugan Temple (the same one we saw on our way up) to check it out. It took some negotiation, 3 hours instead of 1 to go up, go around and come back down but all in all, we were glad we removed our shoes and took the detour. Mommy, our guide up the temple, was great. I gave her a warm hug before leaving and after she handed me two of the yummiest bananas I have ever tasted. In the end, we were sticky and exhausted but happy.
Anyway, from there we still had three more hours on the road before hitting Coimbatore. We needed to do a bit of shopping (mostly for Stu and his family), grab a bite to eat before catching our plane. Shopping in Coimbatore must be similar to shopping in Divisoria or Baclaran. My goodness. It didn’t feel unfamiliar at all except for the parts where random parents would send their kids over my way to say hello, shake my hand or kiss my cheek. It was surreal but warm and trusting of them. I guess for this leg of the trip, that’s what it taught me. That traveling always opens my eyes to how different and the same we all are. And it never fails to teach me to always be compassionate, be more open and hopeful.
Saying our goodbyes at the Singapore airport was bittersweet. Stu gave me valuable advice (about what to do next regarding my career) and told me exactly what I needed to hear as a colleague and friend. Like I said, I’ve been lucky with my partners. Thanks, G.
Well, I’ll never forget my first taste of India, South India more specifically. It was a feast for the eyes and ears, the heart and my palette. I can’t wait for my trip to the Northern part end of May. Did I mention that already? I must have … Gujarat end of May for my next workshop. On my own now and since it’ll be summer, I will be able to extend, take a train and check out Agra and Mumbai (to visit my friend, S). I wonder what will be in store for me then.
Right now though, thanks, G. I am grateful beyond belief. A thousand times over, thank you.
grateful slice: unforgettable places, humbling opportunities, answered prayers