Sunday morning - The past week can either be classed as heavenly or hellish. Both. I had to go through “hell” to be able to experience “heaven” once again. I arrived in Cochin on Tuesday morning. I was happy, I was excited and I finally felt like I was on the right road, for now. The ease started to set in at the thoughts of soon having a job, soon having a focus for at least a month and soon having a “permanent” place to stay. The thoughts of having everything organized for me once more and the assurance that I’d have native people to support me and look out for me, was making me feel so comfortable.
I had to get to a particular school on Tuesday morning. It wasn’t the school where I’d be working, but it was of the same founder, a spiritual Guru by the name of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. He is of the “Art of Living Foundation” (which you could probably “google“ to find out more info) - it’s a spiritual organization, who not only have schools throughout the whole of India but also ashrams, yoga centres and meditation courses. I met his state “representative”, Suresh, who I’ve mentioned before. He was the one who got me the job in the first place and he was now going to take care of me.
So Tuesday morning I was hot and bothered, loaded up to the max with my luggage and finally wanting somewhere to rest for a few days, before starting work on Friday. Suresh offered me accommodation in the school where we met, which was in the heart of the Cochin. He set up a bed for me in one of the classrooms. The kids were on holidays, so the school was closed and I was all by myself until Friday morning. It wasn’t a big school, very primitive, full of mosquitoes, very noisy, but I was grateful. The nights were fine; I wasn’t scared being alone in the building but instead I was amazed at where I had landed myself in the space of one week; last Tuesday I was in Hyderabad about to embark on a potential “yoga career”; this Tuesday I was in Cochin about to embark on a potential “teaching career”. It was so random! At nights I’d do my best to savour what I was experiencing and take in everything: I was legally sleeping in the classroom of a primary school in the south of India, which belonged to a guru and I was on my way to being the English teacher, in this amazing country. This was my dream. It was all happening for me. With many other things I was still trying to put into place that have happened so far since being here, I was trying to focus so much on NOT letting this randomness and magic almost, of what was going on, pass me by.
Besides this, for 3 nights, I watched movies on my laptop, ate awful food from eating places I’ll never return to, tried to gear myself up for the teaching, process the week that had gone by and try to close one chapter to start yet another (I’m actually not too sure what chapter is what, at the moment, or where one starts and the other end; they seem to have rolled into the each other!) But the stress of everything started to take hold of me; my immune system may have been weak during these days and so this was an opportunity for some unwanted bacteria or virus to make an entrance.
Thursday night, was my last night sleeping in the classroom. The following morning Suresh was going to be picking me up at 6am. He would take me to the school, 2 hours away from the city, in Kayamkulam, where I’d be teaching until the end of the May. BUT BUT BUT.. I woke up on Thursday night at 2am feeling sick. I started vomiting, was in agony, felt to also have the flu. I didn’t sleep afterwards. It was 30 degrees all night and I was freezing. I could hardly walk and was aching all over. What was going on! I had no clue. Maybe I’d eaten something wrong, or drank some bad water.. I didn’t know, all I knew was, I was dreading going to school and having to teach.
I had to leave Cochin though. Suresh came to the school, saw that I wasn’t well. At this point, 4 hours after this “thing” had gotten a hold of me, I was an emotional mess. I was crying, I could hardly walk, I could hardly drink water without wanting to be sick, let alone eat to get some strength back. I was a disaster. He said I could stay in Cochin, if I wanted. But I had to get out of this city. I was so “over it”! So we drove, I sat, I felt miserable, I couldn’t speak because it would make me feel sick, the volume in my voice was gone, the muscles in my legs were aching, my head was pounding and all I wanted to do was cry. I can hardly remember much of the 2 hour journey. I remember Suresh trying to make lots of conversation but he soon stopped, as he realized I just was not able. Thinking about giving classes made me feel even more physically and emotionally sick. I wasn’t able to concentrate on anything. I was stressed-out thinking about the bad first-impression I was going to be giving. I also looked horrendous and all I wanted was to sleep. But even that was something I didn’t know I’d be able to get or WHERE I’d be able to get it as I’d be staying somewhere new. This was not the right day for me to be moving and starting something new..