Today was my last day in India and even though I've had a good time, I am ready to come home! This has been an experience of a lifetime and I'd prefer if I only experience it once. :) It rained today for the first time since we arrived. Rain seems to exacerbate all the issues here - everything is harder, like they need things to be worse. I am thankful the consecutive days of rain and flooding happened the week before we got here instead of while we were here.
We are just killing some time right now at the hotel before leaving for the airport. A good time to reflect on the past several days. The real purpose for my visit here was to present some information and do training on Front-End Web Development. We've outsourced all of our web development and quality assurance to India and there was a pretty big knowledge gap concerning all things HTML and CSS. That's enough nerd talk for now, but suffice it to say that I think that aspect of the trip went well. That was the extent of what I gave. I received a great deal more than that.
In addition to getting to know the people I've been working with all these months, friendships were formed. I had the opportunity to see how another culture lives and it showed me how well off we are in the U.S. and how we have so much to be thankful for. There are a few specific things that happened while I was here that I would consider highlights of the trip that I'll never forget.
The Back Alley
Dave and I have been joking about it ever since the first day when we got "lost" down the back alley in the worst human conditions I have ever personally witnessed. I will never forget the poverty and the squalor.
I didn't get to play Cricket like I had hoped, but I did learn a new game. Playing Carom with Bala and Mani and Arun was quite fun. So fun, in fact, that today I bought some Carom checkers and a striker so I can build my own Carom board.
I will never forget the time I spent talking to Daos on the beach, giving U.S. coins to his kids as souvenirs, buying a handmade slingshot from him and taking pictures of his little boy that gave us the "kung fu" pose. He told us all about when the tsunami hit the area and how that impacted him. He still lives less than 100 yards from the water in a grass hut.
We'll be leaving here in an hour to go to the airport. After almost a full 24 hours of travel time later, I'll finally get home Wednesday night. I can't wait to walk in the front door, smell that "our home" smell and see those little faces and kiss that beautiful wife of mine that has been so patient while I've been gone.
In my next post, I'll include photos with some captions and hopefully bring to life some of these words.