09 November 2011

She is off!

Charleston, S.C.
My plane isn't until 3:30ish but I might as well go to the airport now. My mind is buzzing and I can't sit still. Woohoo. This is so exciting.

I've talked about bits and pieces of my story but this is the short version. My father was a school teacher in Canada who decided to go to north east India in 1963 to serve as headmaster of a little elementary school that was sponsored by his church. My mother had been a nurse and although she primarily helped teach in the school she also set up a first aid shop in our living room. I was seven years old and the third of eight children.

Actually I was the third of seven children at that time. My mother was pregnant when they moved and she didn't tell anyone. My father delivered my youngest brother Jim during a wild windy night in the room next to me. My parents tossed us all in the local school barefoot with little chalkboards to write on. I sharpened my pencils with a straight razor and we hiked to the rivers on the weekends to wash clothes and bath.

Meghalaya is a beautiful part of India, tribal and hilly. Most years it is the rainiest place in the world.  The British used to call it the Scotland of the East. The Khasi tribe is matriliniel with the youngest daughter inheriting and the children take the mother's name. When it came time for high school we walked three miles into Shillong to St. Mary's High School which was taught in English. As we each finished high school we were at a bit of a loss and one after another came back to Canada or the states to fend for ourselves. I landed in Toronto for Nursing School with waist length braids, dorky glasses and everything was new and fresh. Everything.

My brother Jim came back at the age of fourteen and years later after a trip back to visit he decided Shillong was where he felt most at home. He married Val, a Khasi wife and they have three adorable boys. They lead adventure eco tours of remote areas and that is where I am going. I am taking my daughter back to see what I have been talking about all these years.

We will meet up in Newark, fly Newark to Delhi (15 hours....help me...) where a lovely lady I have only met on Facebook is going to pick us up for a quick overnight. The next morning we fly to the northeast. Jim is to pick us up and we head immediately to a village which is holding a drum festival. Beside visiting my childhood haunts, we will go to Arunachal Predash the furthest north state close to China and visit Buddhist villages. The finale before heading home is the elephant safari in Kaziranga. Back to Charleston on Dec 1st.

I doubt I will have much internet access so other than quick messages I will shut down but I'll be back!  Keep the place looking nice, no feet on the coffee table. Pick up your socks. Have a great thanksgiving and know that I am so thankful for you - all the folks who drop by and leave a friendly comment. You make my life a treat!




31 comments:

imabug said...

have a good trip! sounds like it will be a blast

Donna Gill Colestock said...

What a wonderful trip Joan! I can't wait to hear about it when you get back. Stay safe and strong.

Lowell said...

You tell a fascinating story. Not many people have experienced what you have. Hope you have a wonderful trip and enjoy every minute of it. I'm sure you'll have some great photos to share when you get back!

Jack said...

It is an exciting story. Much more dramatic than a youth in a small town in Massachusetts. I look forward to the photos when you return. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Have a great trip, Joan. Your blog readers will miss you.
Brenda

Lowandslow said...

I'm sure you'll have lots of pictures for us when you return. Can't wait to see them! Have a wonderful trip. ;)

S

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful trip! Anxious to see your pictures.

Cheryl Smithem said...

Bon voyage. May memory and reality lie peacefully with one another.

Beach Bum said...

Have a great time!

Catalyst said...

Take lots of pictures, Joan, and have a fantastic time. Oh, and don't drink the water. :->

Lisa Renée said...

Wow! What an exciting adventure. You will be missed and we all will be anxiously awaiting your beautiful photos and tales of the trip when you return. Safe travels!!

Jess said...

Oh, it has been a long time since I've had that feeling! Have a wonderful time.

Pixel Peeper said...

Have a great trip. We will miss you and look forward to your stories and pictures when you come back!

Les said...

Please have a fun and safe trip, and for all our sakes, double check that you packed your camera.

Kate said...

I feel so excited for you and my spirit will be with you the entire time. You will have a splendid time...I am sure of it. We will all miss you and anxiously await your safe return.

brattcat said...

and you do the same for us. this is going to be fabulous!!!! enjoy every moment.

Rachel said...

Sounds like it is going to be an amazing adventure! Can't wait to hear all about it! I'll be praying for you and your daughter!

Marcheline said...

Dear, dear Joan - have the adventure of a lifetime and come home safe to tell us all about it. If you come home and there are footprints on the coffee table.... it wasn't me. I was busy rummaging in your cupboard for some more wine. 8-)

Cindy said...

Wonderful! But I'll miss your posts for few weeks! What a fantastic trip!

Susan said...

Joan, what a cool childhood you had! Have a great trip - we expect photos, of course :)

Charlestonjoan said...

Safe arrival in Delhi! I am sipping chai tea and enjoying a tasty Indian breakfast overlooking the Delhi skyline. Smita, a friend of my brother's and facebook friend picked us up at the airport and has been a gracious hostess for a quick overnight. We head to the airport shortly to fly to the north east. thanks for all the fun comments! More as I can!

Anonymous said...

I know you will have a wonderful time. I will think of you often. Just reading this has raised a yearning in me to revisit some of my Indian haunts from my 9 years there in my late teens and early twenties. In many ways I grew up there as well. Travel well my friend. May the ghosts that accompany you be joyous ones!!!

generic viagra said...

I would like to go for such amazing trip...Thanks a lot for sharing about your experiences..

Anonymous said...

May you make many merry memories!

Melanie Christine said...

Safe travels & wonderful memory-making! Can't wait to see pictures..especially of the elephants :) Enjoy every minute!

Kate said...

Oh, how I wish you had a laptop with you so we could see what you are seeing. Can't wait for your return!!

Brian said...

Goose Creek home for sale is move in ready!The Seaton home is a 2 level home featuring 4 spacious bedrooms, 10x15 screen porch, 2.5 bathrooms and over sized 2 car garage. Upon entry you are greeted by an open foyer perfect for greeting guests. The great room and kitchen are adjacent to one another truly giving this home an open feel. The kitchen boasts 42" cabinets for additional cookware storage,Granite counter tops, Stainless Steel GE microwave and smooth-top range for energy efficient cooking, pantry for adequate food storage and huge island perfect for food preparation and entertaining.

Know More :
http://www.scpropertypros.com/blog.html

Kate said...

I keep returning to your blog, hoping that you will be back with many photos and adventures to relate!!

Rick said...

I know you will return with a wealth of photos to share. We are all envious of your adventure. Be safe.

Anonymous said...

First internet access in a couple weeks - no phones, english tv or internet. Rode an elephant on safari yesterday and back in Delhi this evening. All well. I have seen so much it is hard to imagine. Head home tomorrow night. thanks for all the kind comments! Joan

love new things said...

hi Joan....hope you have enjoyed staying in Shillong...and i hope you have seen the changes here compared to your school days...It was terrible changed; shillong (formerly scotland of the east) it has changed from beautiful green and wooden houses to a concrete jungle.isnt it? But perhaps it didnt surprised you;Anyways may you have a safe journey while returning back to Canada...
Regards
enal(Shillong)
http://www.lovenewthings.blogspot.com