My flight was at 5a.m. and experience dictated that I had to be in the airport three hours earlier. That meant leaving the house at 1:30a.m. I thought I'd go to bed early to get at least two hours' sleep but the temples had other ideas! On my last night in India I had not one but TWO temples blasting out music/noise with fireworks and bomb blasts for twenty minutes around midnight. You can only smile - this is India after all!
For the last few days I've thought "this is the last time I'll ever do this" or "this is the last time I'll ever see him, her, that..." but always without total conviction - there was always a possibility that it might not be the very last time. But now, this was it. The very last time. Time was too short for it not to be.
I'd given myself 45 minutes to leave the house but I didn't really need it: I was packed, ready to go, well before I lay down. All I had to do was stuff my dirty clothes into the pocket on my suitcase, zip it up, lock it, and I was ready. The place itself could have done with a clean but it wasn't too bad. I was leaving behind various odds and ends like buckets, cutlery, cups, sharp knives, food containers and so on - hopefully more than compensating for the dusty rooms.
The kids from next door were excited to be coming with me to the airport at that time of night with their rickshaw-driving dad. Maybe that made it all a lot easier because we just chatted away and the 30 minutes' journey flew; there was no time to feel sad. And then it was the mechanistic process of scanning, weighing, checking, checking, checking and checking again. An hour or so of people-, clock- and announcement-watching and then we were off. Goodbye India!
A friend asked the other day if I had any regrets about leaving my secure, comfy job and lifestyle behind and going to India to work with SISP's children for eighteen months. "Not One," I replied. To be honest, it's been hard on my personal life but the rewards from the children have been immense. If they hadn't been, I wouldn't still be doing this.