This morning as the kids and I were walking up the path to school, a family of monkeys walked across the path, they said good morning and invited us over for tea... hmm, just kidding. Instead, they screeched at us. Did the typical “ooh-ooh, ahh-ahh” sound. They are so cliché. I did wait, though, until the family behind us caught up to us, and walked with them. I do not have any energy to look tough in front of my kids when it comes to monkeys. Later in my morning, two birds flew into the house, sat on one of the tops of our windows and then proceeded to poop... on my floor. And then they flew back out. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with both experiences. Are the animals planning to have some sort of siege on us? This is what I have been thinking about today.
This weekend we pulled off the Sisters Conference. Around 275 students, staff and speakers were able to come. We held it at a local boarding school, St. Hilda’s. It was such a fun weekend. Lots of energy from the girls, and diverse and applicable topics were discussed. One of my favorite sessions was about love and arranged marriages and being single. Two women each represented the “love”, “arranged” marriages and being single. A lot of the girls present will be in arranged marriages in a few years, and very little is usually talked about in the way of what to expect. One of the panelists didn’t meet her husband until the day she got married. Whoa Nellie I say, whoa Nellie. They all talked candidly about some of the more sensitive issues surrounding the topic and I felt really grateful to be able to listen to their stories. I especially loved the fact that regardless if they were single or not, or how they got to their wedding day, they all had joys and they all had pain. It brought the gap a little closer.
I was kind of waiting all weekend for something major to happen in the way of catastrophe. And nothing really did. The closest thing we came to was on Saturday night after a BBQ, bonfire and karaoke, we had packed all the students up to go home and a few of the staff had been sitting around with a cup of tea for about half an hour. And the husband of one of the volunteers came in the room and said, “Do you know that there are a bunch of girls in the forest?” Umm, no, we didn’t know that. Bec jumped up to see who they were, and yes, they had been sitting in the forest for 40 minutes waiting for their bus. We sorted it all out pretty quickly, but good grief.
I am really delighted to be a part of the whole process of putting on this conference. Like I said before, and it was said time and time again by Indian nationals this weekend, that conferences like these do not happen for teenage girls here. And being the main detail person was kind of big deal for me. There were other people definitely helping in the details, but I was kind of the buck stops here. Which, to be perfectly honest, is a bit scary because at the end of the day sometimes I don’t have patience for the nitty-gritty details. But, being the buck stops, as far as details, is pretty great in India. The expectations are more relaxed, which is just, well, more relaxing.
So, what’s on the horizon this week for us? Well, there is a group coming from the States to put on a week-long workshop for the aftercare girls. I have enjoyed helping them get prepared to come and look forward to meeting them on Saturday. They are also bringing pecans so I can make an oatmeal- pecan pie for Thanksgiving. I humbly admit that my oatmeal-pecan pie is the best in the whole wide world. Jayson has a trip up to Pune soon. He will be doing some staff development and strategic planning. I also need to organize my kid’s closets. I humbly admit that I cannot keep their closets - or mine for that matter - clean for 24 hours. But this week, they will look tidy... for about 24 hours.