Wishing All A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year
Warmest Christmas wishes from India. So many of you have been following our adventures for the last few months from our blog posts, but in case you are just tuning in, we are here through the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program, living at the Trivandrum International School in the Southern Indian state of Kerala where I (Steve) am teaching biology from August until late January. Both Mariana and Elena are students at the school and Jenn has been busy trip planning, helping the school with design work, and doing a lot of reading. A few minutes of flipping through the blog entries will catch you up with what we’ve been up to since our mid-August arrival.
It’s ten days away from Christmas as we sit on the rooftop terrace restaurant of our Udaipur hotel overlooking some island palaces which appear to float in the middle of a beautiful lake. As we enjoy the views of the old havelis and temples from this hot, sunny terrace I’m thinking of a photo posted on Facebook by the husband of my exchange partner, Sreeja Rajan, in which he standing on about a half inch of Lake Attitash ice in Amesbury. Watching a tourist boat ply the warm lake waters below, the New England winter couldn’t seem further away for us. This sense of separation from our home lives has been a dominant feeling since arriving in India – there’s so little here to remind us of our lives back home. We’ve had a wonderful, fascinating experience, and India never ceases to surprise us.
From the start, the thought of being away for Christmas has been difficult for the girls, so we considered our best options and booked the five days surrounding Christmas in Goa, a former Portuguese colony and home to many Christians as well as hordes of other western tourists making merry for the holidays. The light colored sand of the Goan beaches will supply our “white Christmas” this year. We’ll spend New Year’s Eve with friends we met on our honeymoon 14 years ago, who live in Mumbai with their two daughters. We will be glad to return to Trivandrum on Jan 2 after living out of our suitcases for 26 days. Then just three more weeks of teaching at TRINS, and my part of our teaching exchange will conclude when we return home on January 24.
Though we are enjoying a remarkable experience here, we will be ready when the time comes to “re-enter” our lives among the family and friends who enrich our everyday lives at home. We look forward to reconnecting with you soon in the New Year. May each of you be blessed with love, laughter, adventure, and peace.
Steve, Jenn, Mariana, and Elena