Welcome to my first attempt at a blog! I figured now is as good a time as any, having moved halfway around the world to Hubli. While I didn't know anyone on day one, I've since met many wonderful people, both those who have come from out of the country as I have as well as those who are native to India and have been teaching me a lot.

The plan is to update the blog somewhat regularly so that none of the posts get too lengthy (which is the case with the first several, as they were originally mass emails). We'll see how well I do at keeping up. Miss you guys!

Monday, January 12, 2009

did someone say fruitcake?

I know, I know – I’ve fallen down on the job! It’s good to know you guys are reading though, so I’ll try to do better, really. At least for the next couple of weeks.

Things got really crazy right before my Capstone program, the three-day culminating event for our first cohort, which fell only days before Christmas (and ended on Christmas Eve!) Organizing this event consumed a huge part of my time but ultimately is one of the things I can point to as being the most satisfying accomplishments during my stint here. Besides developing the framework for the event and coordinating all the logistics, I spent hours coaching the Fellows and critiquing their presentations repeatedly.

When the time came, though, I felt good about having done it – many of them blew me away and seemed to impress others in the audience as well. Chinnababu was a rockin’ MC (and a rockin’ Fellow – I hired him as our new program manager, and he’s been amazing!). Desh commented that there would be few, if any, changes to the DFP based on their immediate impression of the successful outcome of the program via the Capstone.

During one of our “celebration” events, Fellows mocked some of the staff members, including Dulcie and her teaching, which couldn’t have been more entertaining. Check out Thriveni's Dulcie Impression: Start at about minute 7... Unfortunately it cuts off right before Thriveni starts flipping her kurta up and down. Right on, Dulcie! (please ignore my 5-second clip, I hope I'm not really as flighty as I sound)

Lesley and I let down our hair after my event wrapped up by carting the bottle of white wine my parents had sent from the US (AWEsome!) around Hubli, looking for an open restaurant on Christmas Eve that would let us sip on our own beverage. After dinner we visited the Fellows’ hostel and considered scouting out a Christmas Eve service but quickly realized that our lack of personal transportation would leave us stranded downtown after the service ended.

For Christmas, most folks had headed back to the States or were traveling, so there were only a few of us around the Hubes. We went as Western as we possibly could, with fresh fruit and fruitcake for breakfast (my first time eating a full piece - or two - of fruitcake ... I didn't remember it being so good!) and later cooking up a couple of frittatas, mixed green salads, mashed potatoes and Christmas pudding, English-style.

Sooo, Christmas was relatively uneventful, and I’m already looking forward to a snowy, commercial (pathetic, but I really missed the mall lights and decorations), family-packed Christmas 2010.