Friday, July 3, 2015

Countdown to home: 4 days

"The ghost boat, Lake Vembanad"  oil on canvas board, 11" x 16"

My keyboard went on the fritz as well for the last few days, so there seems to be some little gremlin that is haunting my iPad.  I thought it went down for the count yesterday, but I was able to resurrect it.  I have made quite a few "notes to self" on this trip, trust me, and bringing an iPad for the sake of space is a faux pas on a trip where you need to do more than just a little light Facebook posting...this was my first time doing so (I usually lug my laptop), and thought it might be a progressive and novel way to travel, but it was mostly troublesome, as the keyboard kept acting up, losing it's charge, etc.  So, to be on the safe side for a work trip, it is either: a.) the laptop  or b.) the iPad with a better keyboard and the right attachments (that is a whole other blog in itself!).

We are having a Fourth of July "party" tonight, it will technically be our closing dinner, as several people leave tomorrow rather than Monday, and that is fine.  I am mentally gearing up for the long trip back to the USA, and what comes after....what did I take away from this trip and hope to build on?  This journey in India was a mixed bag: interesting, frustrating, challenging, and provocative.  I met some new friends, learned some new tihings, rehashed some old ideas as well, learned to work around the obstacles of environment and a very varied group of people, learned to just adapt and go with the flow rather than be constantly frustrated (I think this is a hard one in particular for us people that are very visionary or goal driven), and through it all, actually was able to "see" the people and landscape of India.  I believe if I had chosen to stay on here longer, say for a few months, I would really have grown and loved it very much, but the brevity of the trip takes me away home again just when I was beginning to enjoy and understand India...but that is the nature of the game.

We resolved the whole issue of accommodations a few days ago, when our hosts shifted me and another artist to the resort a kilometer down the road, so we now have better accommodations in terms of amazing air conditioning, wifi, and just general comforts like TV and larger beds, hot water, etc.  The base/original property is an amazing one, just couldn't sleep at night in the heat, and the air conditioner system wasn't going to be fixed in time for us to continue sleeping there. We are still experiencing rolling blackouts, but this place is also on a generator system, so we are not really affected too badly by it.  The staff on this resort are also very nice and every morning they call to see if we would like fresh linens and laundry done (which I don't need daily, but it's a nice offer) and bring us a very nice made-to-order Continental breakfast of omelettes, toast and jam, coffee and tea, and lovely local foods, on our private terrace that overlooks a beautiful vista of rice paddies.  There are several different species of herons and storks that wade through the watery vegetation, and it is a most relaxing view.  Of course, we are limited to sitting there by day, because at night, we become tender sweet meats for the mosquitoes...and no amount of DEET seems to keep these annoyances away.

I think for the last day of my trip here, I will spend the day sightseeing in Fort Cochin with another artist, I am still debating it, if not, I will relax here for the day before leaving and going to the airport, but I am still unsure.  The idea of one last hurrah in Fort Cochin is starting to sound more and more appealing, so that is probably what I will do.   For today, we have a little exhibition going of my artwork, and my presentation which was put off until today because of technical issues with the wifi and scheduling clashes, etc. and then our "party," so I will just finish up one more painting, and close the book on India...or should I say, close the chapter?  There may always be more to come....

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