Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ali is back from her adventure in India, and I'm sleeping easier... I worried with her so far away! She was teaching English a Catholic university in Trichy, India called Holy Cross. She found the position through our friend from Bhimtal, Tagore, who's sister, Shanti, works there. Shanti proved to be a remarkable woman, surprisingly unconventional considering her professional success and inspiring in her commitment to her students and improving the lives of the orphans at Hope Home where she donates so much of her time and energy. Her frank and caring counsel was invaluable to Ali in making the cultural adjustments she needed to make to adapt to life in Trichy. (Restina, Shanti and Ali left to right). Ali helped Restina in the language lab. At first the girls were too shy to talk to her, but she lured them in with encouraging smiles and soon had a gaggle of girls who wanted to talk her all the time! The dress code was strict and Ali could not wear western clothes, (a likely excuse for an exotic new wardrobe!) so she learned how to wear a sari or traditional Indian trousers and a tunic. One of the highlights of her trip was an invitation to a wedding.

Ali stayed in a hostel with post-grad students from Holy Cross, and shared a room with a woman from Assam, Debbie, and one from Tibet, Namshey. Although the accommodation and food were very basic by western standards, Ali said it did not take long before she felt comfortable with the different way of life. The three became very close and Ali loved travelling with Debbie, the teachers and some of the younger students to Kerala. Debbie is an accomplished dancer and henna painted Ali's hands and feet.
Just before she returned home, Ali and Namshey travelled to visit a Tibetan settlement and monastery in Bylakuppee.

She really had an experience she will treasure, and I don't think this will be the last time she visits Trichy.

Sadly, heel pain has stopped me from training for the Mendip Muddle and Nick has to go on a field trip to Transylvania on Sunday, so we won't be racing the Phedippidation World Wide Half Marathon this weekend. But we're looking at races in November, hoping that my plantar fasciitis situation improves. I'm sad to miss the virtual race, though. Best of luck to everyone running!!

1 comment:

namshey said...

Hai! Mrs. Toni... Really loving and touching write up... This is Namshey from Tibet... Ali and many of us here shared very good moments that I don't to explain more... :) lovely mom you are...