After all these months of preparation, it's strange to be in the blocks waiting for the starting gun to fire. It's about time - I'm tired of all of the training. Things are calm - we are ready to go. In fact, the absence of the panicked frenzy that often accompanies our departures for trips is a bit unnerving. What are we missing? Can't think of anything at the moment.
It's been a very busy but truly enjoyable couple of weeks. My week in Washington, DC with the other Fulbright teachers not only left us with a multitude of logistical and cultural adjustment tips, but also heightened my sense of anticipation by being in the presence of so many people on the cusp of great adventures. Far and away the most enjoyable aspect of the past week and a half has been coming to know Sreeja Rajan, my exchange partner. Andover High school is in for a real treat this semester for she is clearly a dedicated and capable teacher and a completely delightful person. I am a bit envious of my colleagues who will have the chance to come to know her better and I also know that I will have some big shoes to fill when I arrive at her school. Her husband, Pradeep Kumon, arrived last evening around two o'clock after an amazing journey that involved planes, trains, multiple subways, and a taxi from Haverhill at 1:00 am. The story of his trip here was fascinating but not very surprising once I've had the chance to get to know him a little this morning. He is a jovial, adventurous type of guy who is instantly likable. I was pleased to learn that he might be here for a couple of months.
We had a little excitement this morning when Mari returned around 9:30 am from my parents after a sleep-over and showed us a cracked molar. What family trip can begin without a little ancillary excitement? Fortunately, we were able to get her into a dentist and it turned out to be a baby molar that was being pushed by the new tooth underneath. It got yanked.
Soon we will have to say goodbyes, to my parents and to Daisy, who definitely knows something is up. It's very emotional when I dwell on it, but the ability to Skype diminishes the separation. Our flight departs for Amsterdam at 7:00 pm and after a 3 hour layover, we're on to New Delhi - about 15 hours in the air altogether - we'll land at 10:50 pm on Thursday, India time. I have photos to post from the various events of the last few weeks leading up to today, but it will have to wait. Just one last bag check...I must be missing something...