Challenges and disillusionment: November 2007

Dear Mum and Dad,
I have been thinking about you so much!  Missing you a lot.  Before I delve in any deeper, all the photos are from a wonderful trip I took with the students and one of the regular lecturers to Changu Narayan Temple.  The lighting, as you’ll see from some of the photographs, was just perfect.
Anyway, I’m feeling pretty at loose ends right now.  Perhaps that is because of where we are in terms of what is going on with the program, perhaps it is because I don’t feel super grounded in any of the relationships I’m in right now.  That’s not entirely true.  At all.  The relationships that I feel grounded in here I really have to make an effort to go and maintain.  The students (pictured below) are wonderful, but my relationship with them is different, a professional one.
November here is a LOT like our winters in Zimbabwe – dry in terms of there not being rain, but there is fog and dew, cold in the mornings and evenings before the sun comes up and after it goes down.  But sitting in the sun midday, it’s very pleasant, and walking around in it is wonderful!  Warm.  Smile.
Let’s see.  I am making plans already for your visit.  We have a dinner date at a couple of teachers’ homes: one at Shova ji’s house and one to arrange with Soorja ji as well.  They will be very different, but I think you’ll enjoy both.  Shova ji is wonderful at working with the students and Soorja ji is just a lighthearted wonderful human being without whom I think I might go nuts.  Grin.
I’ve been feeling pretty disillusioned about work as well here.  We can talk about that when you get here.  I can’t wait to get your read on it.  Wry smile.  Basically we have a person who’s a lovely human being but in terms of work is a poor communicator.  So, we’ll have to have a conversation (you two and I) about how to work with integrity.  Where it is my place to confront someone, where it is my place to take a deep breath and let go and where it is my place to offer some alternatives of how things can be done differently to maybe make things easier for people.
Smile.  So I’ve spent this semester figuring it all out and then next semester I’m going to spend doing my job and then looking outside of work, outside of the office to really find fulfillment for myself.  I mean, like I said, I’m going to do my best, but I’m going to really put in a lot of time and energy in other areas.
It sounds like I might end up in Kalimpong next semester.  This makes sense because it makes more sense for the current assistant there to be here in order to be closer to better health care facilities, which is important given her current health needs.  SO…  At first I guess I was kind of upset.  It sort of means starting over.  On the other hand, if I’m there, I will live with my host family, which will give me some automatic people who are very important right at my doorstep.  Also, I guess I like the community/geography better in Kalimpong than here in Balkot – it’s more rural, in the hills, less polluted.  So that’s exciting.  Plus I’ll get to explore that community more.  I have roots there, and although I have roots here now too, I’m excited to build on the roots I established there.  Smile.  So that’s exciting, though not definite.
Anyway, this is getting long.  I can’t wait to see you soon.
Yesterday evening I had a lovely dinner with my friend Uma who I met at a little photo shop here in Balkot. So nice!  Tonight I’m spending the night in Kathmandu with Buster and Mike (Pomona grads who are around both of whom I really like).  Mike and I are both headed to the Indian Embassy tomorrow to get visas for India ready.
I’m so glad your’e excited about Delhi.  I’m excited for you, too.
So so so much love.  I think of you multiple times each day.
Oh!  I hope it’s okay, I was just planning on arranging my room here so that you can stay in it.  I’ll sleep elsewhere, so the room will be yours, but all my stuff will be in there.  I guess I really wanted to host you and have you stay in my space, and pretty much my space is my room. Grin.
Then I’m organizing our trip to Chitwaan and then Pokhara and Tanting.  We may or may not make it to Bandipur.  And the first few days here, you may be wandering on your own while I grade papers.  But I’ll buckle down and finish quick, and we’ll spend our mornings and evenings together.  Basically you won’t be able to get away from me if you try.  Wry smile.  Well, if you need to you’ll be able to.
Like I said, I love you lots and can’t wait to see you.

About Thandiwe

Hopeful cynic, creative, seriously silly, lover of people and places, hypocrite, third-culture kid, queer, life-long learner, white woman, Christ follower, outdoor enthusiast: I am a seeker of justice and truth who has re-found my spiritual home in progressive Christianity. I serve as the Associate Pastor at a small Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation near the mountains of Colorado where I live with my beloved.
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