Here I sit in Jaipur, India. This is my new home, this is where I will be for the next several months, maybe even the next couple of years.
I have started teaching and have slowly added to my schedule. Currently, I am teaching five classes Monday through Friday and one on Saturday with a second class being added starting this coming weekend. Needless to say, I stay busy between teaching and prepping. I am also working on a Sign Language book derived from the classes I am teaching. It is tiring but definitely keeps me busy six days a week.
Although I get plenty of sleep here, much more than I did in the states, I continue to look and feel exhausted. Not sure if the air is thinner or perhaps I am not sleeping as deeply, whatever it is, I hope I adjust soon so I can look awake and refreshed again!
My journey here and the clients I am working for has allowed me some awesome opportunities that I never would have had the chance to experience as a mere tourist to India. I had the opportunity recently to attend a garden lunch at the Chief Minister of Rajasthan's house and even had the privilege of meeting him. The Garden lunch was a beautiful event with all the women dressed in colorful saris and the men in different forms of semi-formal dress. It was even more interesting watching all these dressed up people eat with their hand which is the custom here in India. The food at the event was delicious and even I managed to clean my plate while eating with my fingers, (I haven't graduated to using my whole hand yet).
Another event I was lucky enough to attend was that of a former Chief Minister's son's wedding. I believe this was the pre-ceremony event that I attended and it was done in grand style. Lights, a couple of stages, food, and TV monitors were everywhere. One stage was where the bride and groom met guests and took photographs while the other stage was for entertainment and there were several acts while I was there, from a boy band dance group to belly dancers and snake charmers. It is currently wedding season here in India and it is very common to hear marching bands and fireworks on a nightly basis. It is nice to go up on our roof top here to watch the fireworks around the city.
Another event that was held just this past week was the Jaipur Literature Festival. It was held at Diggi Palace which is owned by a friend of the family I work for. I had the opportunity to listen to a few authors, mingle with the international attendants and even meet a few people. I thought it funny that the one guy my client met and talked with at lunch happens to be from Seattle, Washington. A place/state I am considering as a possible location when I move back to the states. This event had the best people watching and there were several interesting characters. I even saw some actors and Indian celebrities. The decor was so colorful and beautiful. The lights and music at night had such a cool vibe; the rum and Coke was good too!
I am feeling some pangs of homesickness. I miss being able to just pick up the phone and call someone. I miss being in control of my own comforts. It is nice to have servants, but it is an adjustment. However, I have everything I need right here, I just have to ask for it. Although there is always someone around; be it the family, my co-workers, or the help, I get lonely and am having to dig deep to not allow it to swallow me up. It is a good thing I stay busy, it keeps me from being too homesick, but it also keeps me from doing the heart and soul searching I want and need to do. But like all things it will come, I just need to "Let it Be".