Bye Bye Bhubaneswar
on Jane in India (India), 13/Nov/2011 15:21, 34 days ago
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I'm writing this from McLeod Ganj in north India. My year with VSO is over and I left Bhubaneswar yesterday morning and flew to Delhi! The past couple of months have been pretty hectic, especially the last few weeks, trying to finish things in work and get packed and ready to leave. My blog has been a little neglected and I have a backlog of a few things I want to write about, but for now I just want to check in and I hope to have time to catch up now that I'm travelling! My plan is to travel until March - 6 weeks in India til early January, then over to the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand then home, money permitting! I was working right up to my leaving date, and was away for 3 days with an Organisational Workshop for Aaina. They arranged a trip to Chilika Lake on my last day and a leaving party, giving me a beautiful sari, shawl and bag and lots of speeches! It was an emotional farewell, not really hitting home that I was leaving for good, feeling regretful that I hadn't done more work in my time, and saying goodbyes to my lovely colleagues who have taken me in as part of the Aaina family for the past year. I got back to Bhubaneswar early on Friday morning - had a busy day running around doing last-minute errands, packing and goodbyes. Leaving places always seems to be a mad panicking rush, oh to be more organised!So, yesterday after arriving in Delhi and dropping my bags at one of the Delhi-volunteer's house, I spent the day at Khan Market, treating myself to a bit of luxury to celebrate my first day travelling. Upmarket Khan Market was a bit of a culture shock from Orissa, I felt like a scruffy country bumpkin surrounded by so many trendy young people! For lunch I got to eat fresh lettuce for the first time in a whole year (!!) in the form of a greek salad. It was a beautiful reunion - my body was literally tingling with joy at the taste of crunchy lettuce and a dose of vitamins. I also treated my mangy hair to a well-needed treatment and cut. Then I got an overnight bus to Dharamsala and am currently enjoying the beautiful mountainous surroundings, in the home of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.On Wednesday I start a 7-day silent meditation retreat nearby - no speaking for one week! I'm curious about how it will be and looking forward to the chance to reflect on the past year. Will report back, but for now shhhhh.....