I have stopped and pressed “pause“, since my last update. It’s Wednesday afternoon, almost a week since finishing my teaching in Kayamkulam. I left there on Friday morning and was shocked by the reaction I got. Really.
It was all a bit much. Some of the women staying at the hostel were in tears, others had taken time off work, to set me on my way and some of these I didn’t even have that much contact with and I wouldn‘t even have classed as friends. It made me realize just how isolated these women live. They felt so close to me - even when I didn’t feel close to them - just by me having stayed in the hostel for 5 weeks; probably because I’m the first Western girl they had ever met. I felt a little bad, for not feeling the same emotions as they were. I asked myself: am I really not effected? Am I sad? And the honest answer was: No. When I was leaving the school I was sad but happy, all at once. But when leaving the hostel I was happy, even though these women were suddenly giving me more love then than they had done before - just when I was leaving.. So typical! To make them feel better, I felt like putting on a sad face too, but that’s just not right. So I didn’t. Instead, I left feeling so touched by their kindness and by their sadness in my leaving. I left with even more contacts here in Kerala than I realized. Indians really can be the most honest and sincere people in the world- even if they don’t have any manners and can come across as being the most rude people on the planet - based on first impressions. But getting past that “front” reveals the warmest of hearts that I will never ever forget.
I made my way to the town of Kottayam, which has turned into a place around which I’m now based. It’s mainly because the next job in near this town and not for the desire to be there. It’s just a big town, with a nice Indian feel to it. Here I met up with Byron - for those who haven’t been “tuned-in”, he an Englishman who got me my next teaching job and his office and apartment are both in Kottayam. He brought me to the school, to check it out. I was pretty impressed. It’s one of the more modern schools in Kerala. I’ve seen my accommodation, which is on campus, and it‘s gorgeous! It was hard to get a proper feel for the place and picking up any vibe was nearly impossible - for the lack of kids, as it‘s still summer holidays here. It was also strange to know that I’d be in such a different school environment so soon after only just leaving Kayamkulam. But it’s what I’ve chosen to do and it will work out fine. School starts on the 1st of June and I’m looking forward to it!
This was last Friday. Everything was set in place and this meant that I had a whole week off, before I was due to move to the school! A week free to do whatever and be wherever I wanted. This felt like the first time to happen to me, since being in India. And it actually was. Even though I’ve only done one short teaching job, I’ve been otherwise on the go, constantly. Even when I was in Chennai, I wasn’t fully “free” because of the search for work. But suddenly this was my week to totally chill-out! How brilliant. Most travellers in India are free on all occasions because they may not need or want to work. I’ve been doing it slightly different however, so I may appreciate a week without worries, even more! This is all so very fine!