It has been almost four months since I left my family in India and it's been surprisingly easy to adjust back to life as an American. Before leaving I wondered how my return would be? Would I be overly grateful for everything I have? Would a new patience emerge from my spirit? Would I take all the chaos of India and bring it back to D.C?
So imagine my shock when I jumped in the car from the airport, went one mile towards home, and all of sudden felt like I had only been gone for 6-8 hours when I was indeed gone for 9.5 months! I felt like life in India was a dream and I had finally woken up. It's been 4 months and I still can't properly describe how normal everything felt within the first hour of being back home.
I appreciate India for all that it taught me about myself. Despite the challenges, because of my neighbors/family the Tivoli's ( above) I can say that my Indian experience was a gratifying one. No matter how bad my day was I could always count on one of them to make me smile or put things in perspective. The Tivoli's were a family that lived below the apartment complex. Mr. Tivoli was the buildings watchman who was in charge of any and everything that happened within the building. The floor you see in the picture is where he and his wife slept at night outside. The children had some small living quaters in the back that I never got to see. My greatest memories with the Tivoli's were Sunday dinners ( chicken curry amazing!!!), Mommy walking in my apartment to check on me (no she didn't knock just walked through the front door lol) ,movie night with the girls featuring Beauty and the Beast on youtube, and the unforgettable night that Mr. Tivoli and Sunderi ( girl to the right of me) fetched 2 buckets of water for me!
With all my memories what will always remain with me is the look on their faces once the lost in translation moment revealed that I was leaving Hyderabad for good. They were so upset that we didn't have a party before my departure. Looking back on it I wish we would have because I allowed my frustration with everyone else to keep me from enjoying my last moments with the people I grew to love. At 4:30am when my taxi got to the front gate Mommy got up from her bed ( the floor outside), walked me to the gate, grabbed my face and began shrieking with tears. It broke my heart to let her go and leave them behind. They will forever have a special place in my heart.