December 10th: Mats Arrives

Today the Belgian teacher Mats arrived. Mats knocked on the apartment door in the early hours of the morning. I was too shaken by waking up so early to remember letting him in. He crashed on his bed and I went back to my pillow. Did you miss me darling?

The next morning I overslept for a 2nd time. I made dosas, eggs, and mango jam and served Mats’ corpse breakfast. He has a thick French / Germanly /Bell-bell accent. I recognize that I creatively make up new words. The way I do it is inspired by Filipino repeated-syllable nicknames and Japanese sound words.  I feel that English is inflexible with sound words and nicknaming, so my brain makes them up to compensate.

Mats is adored by the students. He had been to Parikrma before and when he was here he was devoted. He started a guitar club, volunteered in the girls hostel, and really put lots of focus on the special needs kids. His effort shows in how warmly he was received. He inspires me to give a lot to the students, more than they need and just about what they want. Mats spends his free time after the school day teaching guitar and homework helping to the needful girls from the hostel. He told he that the last time when he left a seventeen-year-old student drew him a picture and cried. For him to move an almost-adult to tears shows how much of an impact he had on them. He loves them so much that he returned, delaying his career, to fulfill a promise he made to them. He was in India for the first time only nine months ago. I’m happy to have him because he is going to inspire a lot of selfless change in me.

Today I spent almost the entire day working as the volunteer coordinator. I have been completely promoted to the position. Even the real staff members call me that. I make phone calls, write E-mails, create spreadsheets, and I get consulted on managing the volunteer’s time.  It’s sort of funny that I was promoted into this position. I’m happy to do and I love being ontop of things. So now I walk around a proud beast of burden.

After class I updated my blog and I had Kannada lessons. I walked through the slum to get hygienic chicken and then I cooked for an hour making chicken tikka masala and chapattis with Turin and Barbs. Mats went to the Girls’ Hostel. The Girls Hostel is a group home owned by Parikrma for girls who have been in trouble or disowned since starting their education. The foundation is committed to providing for these girls’ education and so they put them into the group home. The group home is just across the street from the apartment that I am staying in. Visiting with the girls will hopefully become regular.

I found out recently that after India I will not be going to Turkey, because my family will be busy preparing for my cousin’s baby in April! This baby will be the first born of the next generation of my family. I’m going to have a first cousin once removed. That is an exciting and humbling thought. Since I will not go to Turkey I will have to plan another adventure. My adventure brain is churning and very wide open for suggestions and omens. I have been looking into jobs in Bangalore as well. Many companies are looking for US Immigrant and Visa Specialists. That is something that I could easily teach myself and sell myself as. So I will look into those options as well as thinking about moving toward Taiwan.

There will be a break from school for the Dawalidays from December 20th to January 1st. I will travel hopefully with Mats and then I will go to Chennai to visit Rebecca Barron on Friday December 27th. After spending four days Tamil Nadu. We will return to Bengaluru together on January 1st. Then Rebecca will visit the school for three days. Spend one day sightseeing in Bengaluru before she moves onto north India. I am very excited for our plans. We plan to travel from Chennai to Bengaluru by notorious Indian trains: 1st class.

I am having a wonderful time. I finished the 2nd fit test of phase one of Insanity. I recognized from observing workout records from the last three years that my workout consistence is directly correlated to my life-happiness.

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