Sunday, September 19, 2010

Final Days

Today was a wonderful day, my last lazy Sunday in the village. It was spent with Suma, who has been with me from the beginning, and Sophie, recently arrived. Although there are many things I will miss about Kalleda, I will miss Suma most of all. And sharing Kalleda with Sophie and her energy is allowing me to experience those initial feelings of enthusiasm and eagerness all over again on my last days.

Today, we lounged at the junior college (JC) playing Bananagrams over countless cups of chai before venturing out into the village. Sophie and I devoured the village through photographs from one end to the other and were well received by the villagers relaxing on their doorsteps. No worries about any awkwardness photographing people, they couldn’t get enough!

We fixed up a cycle’s tires and gave Suma lesson #1 in cycle riding: walking the bike back to the JC! Then we napped, cooled down, made suntea, explored the Gigapan (awesome photography robot: on the roof over even more chai, and finished the day with a mehendi (henna) session while watching Lagaan (classic Amir Kahn Bollywood).

I feel comforted by the henna on my hands and arms. I am ready to go, but I know that won’t necessarily make leaving easy. This hasn’t been an easy ride but there are so many things I will miss about India and I’m fortunate to be reminded of them in these last days. I can’t wait to arrive in Colombia but I also can’t quite believe that I’m leaving on Wednesday. One more day in Kalleda, one more day in Hyderabad, one more day in India, and then I’ll be on the other side of the world. As I move to that farthest away of places, it’s nice knowing that traces of India will remain on my hands for a few more weeks, as the mehendi slowly fades. And I do know that the less visible, less tangible, but far more meaningful traces will be with me forever.

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