Lost Weekend: Finishing up in Delhi
on Jen does Delhi with VSO (India), 04/Dec/2010 15:59, 34 days ago
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Ok so it wasn't a lost weekend but where did it go? In fact the last 4 weeks just went. In training they tell you the last month of a VSO placement will be gentle. Tidying up loose ends, saying goodbye, eating cake. That sort of thing. Not here.I was busy trying to squeeze in training for the Delhi Half Marathon (I haven't yet got sick of dropping that into conversations). I had a visitor over from the UK then I remembered the strategy plan for ASLI. There was the flat to finish up and furniture had to be sold and belongings packed. An unbelievable amount of stuff vomited itself out of my wardrobe and the flimsy cane bookshelves yielded a bumper crop of jewellery and brass Hindi mini-Gods. I started the clearance. There was four or so bin bags for VSO volunteers to rifle through. This is a benefit of someone leaving - you get hand-me-downs for your usually sparsely equipped cupboards. Judging by the amount I was getting rid of I must have done well over the last year. The remaining went to the cleaner and there was an inordinate amount of stuff to be posted and couriered back. Frightful. I clearly can not travel light.After the house sale I had my leaving party. We made a profit from the goods we bought last year so that provided the beer for what was to be the last party in the house. Arun of ASLI/Deafway fame (i.e. the wonderful man I have had the pleasure to work with over the last year) provided the food and manned the barbeque in exchange for being fed with Kingfisher. The Deaf Way staff created amazing canapes and took over food preparations. I concentrated hard on drinking and saying my goodbyes. I had an amazing time and it was a wonderful send off after an unbelievable year.It was back in the office on Monday after partying, moving out and dealing with a hangover of proportions not seen yet this year. I managed to finish some final bits and we had the obligatory pizza (Puneet, the IT and English teacher, was leaving too). After lunch I said my goodbyes and there it was. I blubbed. Totally unexpectedly. Anyone who has kept up to date on this blog will know how much I have enjoyed being here. And that is a gross understatement. I've lived, worked and breathed Delhi. Anyone who knows how dusty it is here can imagine the hardships I may have had to endure.'Will you be back?' is the question du jour. I hope I have given some idea of how much the Deaf community is still being discriminated against here. Interpreting services are just one part. Education where sign language is virtually banned, not being allowed to drive, a total lack of equality when it comes to employment, no mental health services, a lack of academic sign language and interpreting qualifications...it goes on. I'll be offering any assistance I can from the ether. And I have some plans afoot but I'm not done in India just yet. It's all about the R&R and taking some time out to consider my next steps. It's the beach for me for now.