Monday, 27 April 2009

Pimple Explosion!

I imagine it's because I've just come from 3C-10C in the UK to 30C+ in India but my back, front, shoulders, neck, temples, and arms exploded with hundreds of spots! Little pustules with inflamed patches around them. Delightful! They're either a Heat Rash or Tropical Acne or Prickly Heat. It is noticeably more humid than the start of April and I've been dripping in sweat as my body tries to acclimatise. Anyway, thankfully, the spots are now beginning to recede. I have a photo but you'll be relieved that I'm not going to show it to you!

On my first day back from the UK I decided that the best way to overcome my despondency was to throw myself back into work and that's what I did. The kids were delighted to see me I'm pleased to say. This is a busy period as we have end-of-year exams for the week beginning 4th May, and I've yet to set the questions. I've also offered to set the Maths questions for Preethimol, the slightly backward girl in E-Group. I've also exchanged a few emails with my daughter which has done us both good.

At SISP there's a new volunteer, Natasha, who's here for a further two weeks. She's mid-twenties and Belgian, like Hanne and Anoda, the two girls who have just left, but her English is orders of magnitude better. She teaches well, is very organised and has a good rapport with the kids. It's nice being able to converse easily with someone here but a shame she's leaving so soon because she'd be very good for SISP.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

2009-04-25 Return to India

I arrived back in India the day before yesterday at 09:05, bang on the scheduled time. It then took the rickshaw driver 2 hours to arrive, in spite of me SMS-ing him a couple of days previously, phoning as soon as we touched down, and phoning several more times with an increasingly irrate voice! This is the guy who turned up precisely one week too early when I booked him to take me to the airport. Oh well, Manoharan is a nice chap and all that, and reasonable too, but I think our communication is somewhat lacking!

The flight was with the Emirates airline, from Heathrow T3, with a 3 and a half hour stopover at Dubai, and then on to Trivandrum. That's 7hrs, 3.5hrs and 4hrs, approximately. By making strategic on-line seat bookings for the half-filled flights, and defensively spreading myself out once I was aboard, I was able to have four seats to myself on both planes and could therefore lie across them and get a little sleep. It wasn't much but it helped. Dubai airport was pretty amazing - one huge airy terminal, with lots of glass, lights and chrome. I was fascinated by the huge sheets of glass which had LEDs embedded in them - like grids of bright sparkling stars. I couldn't spot any wires! The service, space and food of the Airbus A380 into Dubai was pretty special whereas the older and cramped A330 to Trivandrum was not quite as good but still, it wasn't bad.

I was very excited going back to the UK but very sad returning to India. It was wonderful seeing my family and friends. Most importantly, seeing my kids, C and J, who I managed to meet up with several times (but never for long enough!). This blog is meant to be about my time in India rather than a personal diary, so I won't say much about my time in the UK, but I will say it was hard leaving it again. I know that family are only a phone call away but there are actually a lot of miles between us. It feels like it's another world. And phoning is no real substitute for being able to physically be with someone at short notice. So, I guess you could say I was feeling a bit despondent when I arrived back here.