Thursday 15th July 2010
Sorry it’s been so long since my last email, but so much has happened once again that I don’t really know where to start!
Let’s see, in shorthand: during my 1 month’s notice period I was allowed to take my 2 week’s compensatory leave, so I went to Nepal for a break and well-earned holiday.
Unfortunately my holiday was utterly exhausting and ended up being really quite stressful. It was GREAT to see all the kids again and being back was lovely. However I’d forgotten that staying at the orphanage meant getting up at 5am, which is not my idea of relaxing! Also there were 3 other volunteers there, so we were all sharing a cramped room. I won’t go into the details right now, but basically there was a lot of drama involving the other volunteers, me, Priya, and Aama, a lot of misunderstanding and a fair amount of upset all round. I also came down with a hideously nasty cold and have been ill pretty much ever since, so my holiday was mostly an exhausting and stressful disaster.
However, I came back, worked out my last week at the University, managed to get all of my pay and dues etc, and am now spending a couple of weeks chilling out before I fly home. I wanted to try and see a bit more of India before leaving if I can, so have planned a couple of short trips.
I am based at my lovely friend Wilma’s house in Delhi, and spent most of this week lying around being lazy, sleeping a lot and recovering from my cold. I came up to Shimla on the train yesterday – a hill station north of Delhi in Himchal Pradesh that is a renowned holiday spot for Indians trying to escape the heat in Delhi. It’s perched on a steep ridge with stunning views and it blissfully cool and refreshing. I am only staying here for a couple of days, and have opted for the cheap and cheerful YMCA, which is sparse, clean and functional. I’m heading back down to Delhi tomorrow and then am flying up to Srinagar in Kashmir on Monday to (hopefully) spend a week staying on a houseboat on the lake and exploring the town and local surroundings.
Then next weekend after I come back from Kashmir I’m booked onto a short weekend trip with some friends to go to Mount Govardhan in Uttar Pradesh.
So, that will leave me a week back in Delhi to get all my last minute souvenirs and spend time with friends before I fly back to the UK on August 3rd.
As for my longer-term plans, well, they are a bit vague and up in the air, like most things about my life! I have already applied for several jobs, and managed to get an interview, which although I didn’t get the job, is a good start. I’m planning to continue job hunting at home and will be around for at least 2 months – for August and September, as I have several weddings and family commitments that I want to be home for. After that, I’m not sure yet. Assuming I haven’t found a job by then, I think I might try to be a bit more pro-active than I was last year about job-hunting. I don’t fancy sitting around at home for months being unemployed and miserable, so have thought up a few alternative options. I might try going to France for a couple of months to try and really get my french up to scratch, as I have lots of friends and relatives there, and I think a second language will massively help my chances of employment abroad!
Or I might try coming back to India and getting an unpaid internship with an NGO for a few months – if I’m going to be unemployed anyway it would look better on my CV to be doing something like volunteering or an internship, and might help me gain experience and pad out my CV further. Who knows, it might even lead to an actual job if I’m really lucky!
Anyway, these are all just schemes and plans in my head at the moment, and could go either way at this point – or who knows, maybe I’ll even have a job lined up by the end of September? So, those of you in the UK who want to see me should get in touch soon – I’ll be home for two months, but my weekends are filling up fast with weddings and hen nights and various other things, so I hope I’ll get a chance to see everyone!
Hope you’re all well and enjoying the nice summer weather in the UK (at least I hear rumours that the weather has been nice?)
Hopefully I’ll be able to send a much more detailed and funnier email next time round, where I can regale you with anecdotes involving evil monkeys, leaking houseboats, and all sorts of fun and games!
tons of love