This list is much longer………….. I will miss:
* fresh, flavour-full, delicious meals. all ingredients are purchased at the market every day, prepared as ordered and incorporating the local specialties (coconut, chilis, mint, red onions, pineapple, oranges, pomegranates, real bananas…..) yum! this means sometime take a while to receive – no problem!
* eating extraordinarily well for a couple of dollars a day
* listening to people’s perception of north american life. “is it true that you would pay money to a stranger (i.e. non-family member) to stay with your children?”, “It’s very dangerous – I feel sorry for you to live in a country with so much violence.”,
* walking on marble everywhere – temple floors, our bedrooms floors, hallways, stairways, bus stations, train stations, restaurants, hotel lobbies, bathrooms – nice and cool!
* drinking fresh young coconut milk from the man who whacks off the top and sticks a straw in it. then after I am finished, he lops it in half and using a piece of the coconut, makes a spoon for me to scoop out the insides and enjoy a fresh and healthy snack.
* swimming in warm clear oceans, with no one and nothing in sight
* the absolutely amazing colours of women’s saris and clothing – oh, i bet they look at us and sadly shake their heads – how poor we are in colour and design.
* shimmering moonlit sea with outlines of coconut trees in the sky
* all the impromptu and unexpected conversations with people on all topics – mostly religion, karma and spiritual life.
* all the smiles that peep from from beneath saris as I extend my smile to women
* knowing that each day will bring a surprise
* being (for the most part) awake, alert and in the now moment
* waking up each morning and deciding what to do – or not! each day a new page, very few obligations, almost no responsibilities
* having hundreds of hours to read, rest, meditate, reflect
* having endless opportunities (each day) to duck into a temple for a blessing
* being in a country where virtually no one smokes or drinks alcohol. no fighting, no yelling, no butts on the street. we can attend events with thousands of people and everyone is enjoying themselves – families, children.
* being in a country where only once in 100 days did I hear one person raise their voice.
* seeing all babies and young children being carried in the arms of their parents or relatives – not one stroller in sight!
* being on holiday and in the precious company of my beloved partner, Joseph, for days on end
* having so much time with David and Kelley – what great travelling partners they have been – flexible, patient, curious, open-minded, intelligent and fun-loving!