Saturday, March 5, 2011

starting over

This post was written on March 1.

I had a full day at school. I went to the tailor to have a blouse stitched for the saree that I had recently purchased. I attended evening prayer. I played cards with the younger girls. I went to dinner. Having never been a big fan of packing, I didn't start packing until about 10PM, spending the time before that with the TTC students. Hari and Merlin helped me pack; at about midnight I told them shubharatri (goodnight) for the last time. And so ended Monday, my last full day at Buchanan.

This morning, I finished packing and cleaning my room. I had breakfast. I said goodbye to the first year TC students as they left for class, and gave my favorite little fifth graders a number of hugs before they left, too. The second years didn't have class, so they chose to stick around with me. And then...we waited.

KC Mathew Achen (my supervisor at Mandiram) arrived to pick me up at 10AM, as promised. I maintained my composure as we loaded my things into his car, and I said goodbye to the TTC second years and Suja Teacher, Binthu Teacher, Sanila Teacher, and Jaimol Kochamma, who came to see me off. KC Mathew Achen and I got in the car and started for Mandiram.

 Even though today was my first time meeting KC Mathew Achen, his reputation preceded him; I've heard wonderful things about him from several people. And my interactions with him thus far have confirmed everthing I've heard; he is a very, very kind person, and I look forward to getting to know him better (although I am going to miss Jaimol Kochamma so much, every day. I'm sure she will read this eventually...hi Kochamma! :) I miss you!)

Since arriving to Mandiram this morning, I've been shown around and met lots of people. Currently, I'm attempting to unpack. Speaking of which--whoa guys. My room. Or apartment, rather. I feel like I'm at the Ritz. I have HOT WATER. A fridge. A kitchen. A whole new selection of books. A porch!

Although to be perfectly this moment, I would trade all of that for my little room at Buchanan. The biggest shock of today has just been the overall feeling of starting over. And this whole starting over thing isn't easy. Once again I have endless names to learn, a campus with which to familiarize myself, a routine to find and adopt. This is especially difficult when I have just left a place where I know and love everyone, could walk around the campus in the dark, and have an established routine that works so well. But I know that I'm here for a reason and that this part of my YAV experience will bring unanticipated joys and challenges, just like I have experienced at Buchanan.

So bring on the unexpected, God. I am ready.

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on." -Havelock Ellis 

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