Good evening. I am yawning uncontrollably right now. I wonder if you all yawned when you read that. Kind of like when you see someone yawning, and then you automatically yawn. Wouldn’t it be great if I passed on a yawn half a world away? Okay, maybe not amazing. But noteworthy. If you yawned, could you post it in the comments? My research is sure to be pretty scientific. Okay, now that I have almost spent a whole paragraph on yawning, I will try to make a lively transition. To waken us all up.
This past weekend, I went up to Pune with Bec and seven students from St. Hilda’s School and Hebron. We met her sister Debbie there, who currently lives in Pune. We wanted to take a crew of girls there to partner with the Sisters conference that is coming up in a week and a half. The goal of the trip was to broaden the knowledge base of the students on different social issues (HIV/AIDS, training centers for homeless youth, trafficking, meeting with the police commissioner, etcetera). The girls either interviewed staff or interacted with people at the different sites. They will take these experiences and be the “main speakers” for the social justice session during the conference. I went up on Saturday and came home Monday night. The rest of the crew is staying until Friday.
Let me tell you some of the more memorable moments... Interacting with students for the first time in probably four years (for those of you that don’t know, I was involved in youth work for about a decade, up until I had Sydney). That was such a big part of my life before. We had some meaningful conversations, as well as some good laughs. Another memorable time was going to my first movie in India. That was so fun. Also, I was opening my car door and didn’t look to the left and silly me knows that two wheelers can go between the sidewalk and the car... but I did not check and totally rammed the door into a passing scooter, not injuring the guys, but definitely tipping them over. Can you believe it? I tipped them over. Let me tell you how awful I felt. And so embarrassed. Moving on, my face is getting red just thinking about it... It was really incredible watching the students, in a very mature way, interview adults and engage in the social issues at hand (good eye contact, quite articulate, good non-verbals).
So, let me share with you another story of my travels. I flew from Pune to Bangalore Monday night. Then, I was to catch a 10:15 p.m. overnight bus to Ooty, getting in early Tuesday morning. Now, I could tell you that I was all breezy about going to the Bangalore bus stand at 10 o’clock at night and catching a bus. But then, I would be lying. I definitely had to put my big girl pants on and just do it. The fare was $8 U.S. dollars, comparatively to a car which is about $75. So, I got a bus from the airport to the bus stand, no problem. Found the platform that my bus was to come to, no problem. The bus didn’t come until 11:30, no problem. Bus came, gave the ticket to the driver, my ticket was for the next night, problem. No more seats left on the bus, problem. At this moment, I could have tried to pull myself together and talk rationally to these kind men. But I didn’t, I cried. I couldn’t help myself, people. In the big spectrum of life, not a big deal. But I was tired and overwhelmed and I simply just let it go. So, the driver was a bit startled by my reaction, looked at me as if my water just broke and I was going into labor and what in the world was he going to do with me. He told me that he did have a seat for me, but it was the seat that they usually don’t give to passengers. I didn’t care. Give it to me! But I needed to pay 400 rupees, and I freakin’ didn’t have it. I had 300 rupees though. No go. At this time everyone was getting anxious to get going. The driver told me to go to the office and get my ticket refunded, he said he would wait. I felt suspicious of that fact, but I went for it anyway. I flew up there and in a very broken conversation tried to tell the ticket guy my issue. Within moments, there were probably a dozen men surrounding me, giving me advice, all with very little English. After a time, they finally figured out what I needed, gave me a refund, and I flew back down to the platform. There was no bus going to Ooty in sight. So, in a bewildered and very loony way, just started yelling “OOTY BUS, OOTY BUS, OOTY BUS,” very loudly. And one of the traffic people heard me and told me to follow him and we ran after the bus, finally got to the moving door, tapped on it, and showed him that I had the money. I am pretty sure that he thought I was a serious nut case. But I got on the bus and found my seat. My seat was in the very back, in the middle of a block of five seats, and I think the reason they never sell that one to anyone is that the reclining feature of this particular seat never locks. So on every speed-bump, slow-down, speed-up, or curvy-curve, the seats moves up and down. It’s pretty much a constant roller coaster. But I didn’t really care my friends, because I was on my “OOTY BUS.”
****You may be wondering how the ticket mishap happened and why I didn’t catch it. Well there is no clear reason, just that between the four people that were handling the ticket, the dates got switched somewhere. It really doesn’t matter. And I never know the date of the month, so I am complete loser in that category.