Leaving Chennai, part 2 – Special Events

If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

 

There have been many special days and events that have happened in the past 5 years since we moved here, but I’d have to say that the biggest and best of the special events were that Lila and Scarlett were both born here, in the same hospital, delivered by the same doctor.

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Newborn Lila.

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With daddy.

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Newborn Scarlett

Nana Mable visited several times.

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With newborn Scarlett. November 2010

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Her birthday. That is Lila she is holding. November 2010

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At the zoo. June 2012

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At the beach. Lila was miserable and hated it. November 2012

 

Logan and Lila started school.

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Logan on his first day of preschool. June 2011

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Lila on her first day of preschool. June 2012

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Logan’s first day of kindergarten. July 2012

 

We had some family vacations.

Mahabalipuram, just outside Chennai, February 2010.

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Dinner at a sidewalk restaurant.

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Going down to the beach.

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Swimming in the pool.

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Relaxing.

 

Mango Hill resort and a visit to the Crocodile Bank Reserve park. July 2013

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Checking out the crocodiles.

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Learning to swim.

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Such a water baby.

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Fun times.

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My handsome men.

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At dinner.

 

So many memories, so little time to go over them all. I’m going to do one more post in this series, but right now I need to go get myself and the kids dressed for a little goodbye party that is happening at Glad’s office.

Our Mangalore Trip 2013

It’s been nearly a year and a half since we made our big announcement about moving to Canada, and all you’ve heard since is that we’re going but nothing concrete about when. Well, it’s been a long, drawn-out affair. You can read these links if you want to catch up on the details.

Our Move – Progress Update

Our Move – Progress Update 2

Why Our Move is Still Pending

The Canadian embassy strike last year really slowed things down for us. The processing time for visas has gone up to 12 months, meaning we have to wait until the end of March before we can start questioning more delays. We are confident that the visas will come – they have no reason to deny them – it is just a question of when they will come.

We spent Christmas and New Year’s in Mangalore this year. We figured it would be a good idea to spend as much time as we can with Glad’s mom before we leave, since we don’t know when we will see her again. One of Glad’s sisters and her family were also there at the time, so our kids got to spend some quality time with a few cousins.

Ready for a long drive.

Ready for a long drive.

We drove from Chennai to Mangalore, dividing the trip over two days with a stopover in Bangalore. This was our first long drive with the kids. Along the way there were good roads, bad roads, large highways, tiny back roads, and one long drive over a hilly area with what looked like the worst road in the history of roads. This particular road is windy, and to make matters worse, it was so broken up in most parts that we had to go super slow. Parts would be level and then drop into deep ditches, the road would narrow and widen often. It looked like it was full of craters, or that an earthquake had hit. In reality it probably hadn’t been repaved since it was first made. There was roadwork happening but that just slowed us down all the more.

We saw things like a huge truck have a tire blowout, another truck with an elephant in the back, lots of monkeys on the side of the road, and lots of bad driving. And this was the national highway! On our way home we took the state highway which wound through more hills but was nicely paved and had the most gorgeous views.

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There were also lots of trucks overloaded with hay, which made them look like moving haystacks. We took to calling them “one-wheeled haystacks”, from the scene in the movie “The Aristocats” where the butler is being chased by some dogs and his motorbike with a sidecar goes through a haystack and the sidecar gets separated and is driving on its own with the haystack on top.

They looked something like this.

They looked something like this.
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During our time in Mangalore, we visited the beach, parks and malls. One thing about Mangalore, it is small and everything is so close. Just down the street from the house there is a natural ice cream parlor, and we became regulars there, all 11 of us. 🙂 We also braved what must have been the world’s smallest photo studio and got family photos taken.

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Including 4 days of driving, we were gone for 2 weeks, the longest trip we’ve ever taken with the kids.

Mall outing on Christmas Eve.

Mall outing on Christmas Eve.

When we got home, I spent a few days just cleaning, since dust was thick on everything. Then we got back into our  school routine, interspersed by sickness. Things almost feel normal around here…just hoping the visas will show up soon.

Christmas Can Be Magical – With or Without Santa

You know all those petty wars that tend to circulate and grow on the internet? – Moms bashing moms for everything under the sun, from parenting styles to play dates, food issues to fitness – you name it, there is probably a war on it. Well, Christmas hasn’t been left out, because there are wars on that too.

The topic? Santa, or more specifically, whether or not it is okay to teach kids to believe in him.

I read two posts on this topic this morning, and I couldn’t believe the comments! People who want their kids to believe saying those who don’t let their kids believe are ruining their childhood, and those who don’t want their kids to believe saying that those who let them believe are straight-out lying to their children, and ruining their childhood. Basically, either way you are wrong.

There were so many opinionated people saying everyone else was wrong because no one else agreed with their personal decision on how the idea of Santa was handled in their household that I opted to not say anything on those posts because I hate getting into such debates. But I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post my thoughts on the topic here on my own blog.

Here is what I feel: whether or not you teach your child to believe in Santa, either the idea of him or that he is a real person, is purely a personal decision. Your choice on this should be what you feel is right for your family, based on your upbringing and personal beliefs, not what the media, your neighbors, a stranger in the grocery store, or the blogosphere thinks you should do. And when you read a blog post or news article from someone who holds an opposing view from yours, you shouldn’t feel the need to bash them for it!

My husband and I were both raised knowing Santa wasn’t real, so for us it was natural to pass the same belief to our children. This doesn’t mean that they don’t know who Santa is. They watch movies and read stories with him in it like any other child would, but as they’ve  gotten older and began questioning if he was a real person, I told them he was like Micky Mouse or Winnie the Pooh – just a story character, and that he represents the spirit of giving.

Since we live in India and Christmas is not a major holiday like it is in other countries, there is no concern that they will blurt out that Santa isn’t real and ruin it for some other kid. I don’t think anyone here teaches their child that he is. I may be wrong, but I have yet to find someone here who believes in Santa.

This year I plan to take it further and find the story of St. Nicholas. I will let them know that Santa is based on a real person who lived long ago, and who’s secret giving helped those in need. I will also prepare them for when we move to Canada by telling them that some people do believe Santa is  a real person, and that if they should meet someone who does, it’s okay to pretend along and not ruin it for them. I think that is the considerate thing to do.

Of course, since we don’t believe in Santa, there is also no Elf on the Shelf, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy in our house. I don’t think my kids are missing out on the magic of childhood just because they don’t believe these characters are real.

So how do we make Christmas special without Santa? Well, we’ve created our own traditions.

– The first thing we do is to decorate the house and tree at the same time each year, either on or as close to the 1st of December as possible. A weekend is best since there is no school, and we can make a day of it if necessary. Of course, this was the first year they were big enough to truly “help”. I still did most of it.

– Another thing we do, that began the year Logan was 2, is to countdown the days until Christmas. The first few years we used a simple poster that we printed out from some website and put together. They loved pulling a number off each day and having a small chocolate.

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This year we made something new – a chart that has a Christmas activity for each day leading up to the 25th. Some of the things I put on the chart are making cards, baking, reading stories, simple craft projects, a treasure hunt, and watching Christmas movies. Some of the activities repeat, such as the stories and movies, but that way we can cover a number of different ones.

Eventually I want to make one of these in cloth so I can trade up the ideas every year, but I’m waiting ’till Canada where I can get a sewing machine. Hand stitching is a lot of work!

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– Another tradition my kids enjoy is opening their stocking on the 25th morning. They know they can open it right away without asking.  I make sure to include a toy or activity and some treats – chocolate, cookies, etc., – something that will keep them happy and busy until everyone is up and ready to open gifts. I hand-stitched our stockings 2 years ago. You can read about it here. (And now you know why I don’t want to hand stitch a countdown chart.)

– At least once during the season, I read them the story of the First Christmas from a children’s Bible or storybook. We also put out a manger scene of some sort. I’ve used the above flannelgraph (found here) a few years in a row, and this year we are making a paper one. (Still working on it – I have to do 99% of the cutting, gluing and folding. Next time I’ll just buy one.)

– I like to bake fruitcake, since I love eating it, so I make enough to give some as gifts. We wrap and deliver them to friends and teachers. (You can find my recipe here.)

The cakes I made last year.

The cakes I made last year. And here is the funny story of how I ended up with too many cakes.

– A new idea I had this year was to have a simple treasure hunt. It will be done as one of the countdown to Christmas activities and the treasure is a new Christmas story book, wrapped up, of course. If they enjoy the game, and I’m sure they will, I will make it an annual tradition.

I look forward to incorporating more traditions as my kids grow. Traditions are fun and important because they help build memories. I don’t think it is necessary to believe in Santa in order for Christmas to be special, but I also don’t think you are wrong if you do. Christmas is supposed to be about joy and peace, friendship and families, and creating magic for our kids, not fighting over who’s tradition is the right one.

 

Now that that is all out of the way, tell me what your favorite Christmas tradition is, or what your kids look forward to?

Does Santa Claus Exist?


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There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witness, or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 373 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.
Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. So, for each Christian household with a good child. Santa has around 1 / l000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house. (That’s really why it’s pointless to stay up and watch for him).
Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second – 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.
The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child has nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the flying reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can’t be done with eight or even nine of them. Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch). 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance – this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.
Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 mps in .001 seconds would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 G’s. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315.015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he’s dead now!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Outing to the Mall and Buying My Own Gift



Today I decided I had enough of being in the house. I needed to get out. Problem is, I can only get out with my tag-alongs, so I decided to take them to the mall. At least there I can get something done and I don’t have to contend with traffic, at least not while inside. The walk there only takes me about 10 minutes (brisk walk) but at Logan’s snail pace it takes a good 30 minutes.

Today he spent most of the walk there tripping. I don’t know if I’ve told you but Logan trips all the time, generally over nothing. He can be slowly walking along and will suddenly trip over his own feet. He falls hard when he falls. You hear a loud “thud” and then the crying. While walking, I usually hold his hand tight so that when he does trip, I can catch him and pull him up before he hits the ground. But I am also pushing the stroller on uneven, potholed roads so one arm is constantly being yanked by him and the other by the stroller. My arms do get a good workout but it is difficult. But I still don’t know why he trips so much. I try to get him to look ahead, lift his feet properly (he sometimes walks on his toes) but nothing seems to work. He falls more than the average toddler. In the house he will trip over nothing. He will be in his bare feet, slowly walking, and will suddenly fall. There is nothing there, yet he falls. I just don’t see how it happens.

Anyway, back to today. We got to the mall and first checked out the decorations. I have to say I have yet to see a nicely decorated tree. All the ones I saw were poorly done. I could make a fortune charging shops to decorate their tree for them.

Then we went into one shop so I could find a belt (to hold up my jeans that are now falling down – I take that as a good sign), and I also had to find a gift for myself from Glad.

Yes, you heard me right, I had to buy my own Christmas gift from my husband. Well, you know how much he hates shopping. I told him I would help him to get gifts for everyone else, but I tried to convince him to buy me something. I even offered to tell him what I would like and where to find it. I told him I want a surprise; that’s why I want him to get me something. Nothing would make him try. He hates shopping that much. So I gave up and bought my own gift. I wanted a silver chain as my last one got ruined by first getting broken, then being repaired by a jeweler who did a bad job so that it looked bad. I couldn’t wear it any more so I decided I needed a new one. The shop where I got the belt had a jewelry counter so I was able to get a nice chain there for a decent price.

Then I took the kids upstairs to the toy department. They had a santa and some other attractions but all too advanced for Logan. He doesn’t know who santa is but ran to him anyway to shake his hand and get a candy. He doesn’t eat candies so always gives them to me or drops them on the floor, but I’m ok with that. I don’t want him to get used to that at this young age.

We played with the toys for a while and he kissed all the stuffed toys he liked, then we walked around the mall a little so I could check it out. By then it was lunch time so we went to McDonald’s again. This is the second time we have gone since it opened. I won’t make a habit of it as it isn’t cheap, but sometimes I think it’s ok, and Logan loves fries. Today I gave Lila one to keep her quiet while we ate and it worked.

By then Logan was showing signs of needing to sleep so we walked home. The walk home took about 40 minutes due to his tiredness. But since we got home late I only let him have a short nap so that he will sleep tonight. He is fussy when I do that, but I prefer a little fuss to a boy who won’t sleep until midnight. Lila took her second nap a while after that and I was able to give him some attention and that helped.

Right now he is playing rough and tumble with daddy, his favorite game. And Lila has been fussing and is on my lap disturbing me. She is trying to type too. I’d better get off.

Colds and Baking

I’ve been busy with baking, wiping snotty noses, cleaning the house, baking, snotty noses, laundry, and yes again, those snotty noses. Get the idea? Both kids have colds but poor Lila got it the worst. The first night I had to sit up with her and hold her in an upright position so she could sleep. I didn’t get much sleep that night. Her nose is sore from being wiped and she moves her head fast when she sees me coming to wipe it. Poor baby. Then she cries the cry of “Mommy, I hate you” when I’m done wiping it.

In the baking department, I DID MY FIRST FRUITCAKE OF THE SEASON TODAY. Ok, so I’m behind. I should have done them a few weeks ago and then had them soaking in rum by now, but better late than never, right? One difficulty with fruitcakes is that there are thousands of recipes out there and I couldn’t find one that was simple. When I’m making a cake, I don’t like to have 50 steps to the end. I prefer to use one bowl, one spoon, one measuring cup and one measuring spoon. I don’t want to sift, roll, toss, grate, crush, pinch, blend and fold every item into the cake. It takes forever that way. So I decided to come up with my own cake recipie. I did let everyone know that this was a test run so that they wouldn’t expect perfection. It came out better than I expected, just a tad dry, so I need to add more liquid, but other than that, it was good. Glad liked it so I know it was a success.

Christmas Shopping

I finished wrapping all my gifts today. When it comes to Christmas, I love giving gifts, and my only limit is the size of my wallet. Now that I have children, it is fun to shop for them. It’s a good thing that I don’t have as much money as I’d like ’cause then my kids would have too much stuff. Sometimes I see something that is cute and I’d like to buy it for them, even if I’m sure they’d never use it. But because I can’t do that, I am forced to think about if what I am buying is needed or not.

This year I got 3 gifts for Logan and 1 for Lila. I find that small kids are usually happy with one gift and often don’t even want another once they start playing with that one. Also, they are too young to get into the “he got more than me” banter that you hear with older kids. Last year I didn’t even have a gift for Logan when we all opened gifts and you know what? He didn’t even notice. He just had fun playing with all the wrapping. (In my defense, I had been sick so I didn’t do my regular shopping. Can I count being pregnant as an excuse too?) I did get him a gift a few days later, but it was for my benefit, not his. I also know that others will give them gifts so I figure they will end up with enough stuff in the end and won’t even realize it. I, on the other hand, will have more toys to pick up and stuff to find a place for, and will wish I had not bought anything.

I’ve done almost all my gift shopping with Logan in tow, including his gifts. One of the beauties of shopping with toddlers is you can shop for them and even have them pick what they would like. (He picked all his gifts.) By the time you get home, they will have forgotten what you got and when you give it to them later it will still be a surprise. I decided to wrap the gifts today and about halfway through, Logan decided to watch me wrap his gifts. Ha. I think this is the only year I will be able to get away with that. Next year I will have to hide them for sure.

Now, lest you think all I have on my mind is Christmas and gifts, here are some pics of my bathing beauty. These are the first pics I’ve taken of her in the tub. She was having so much fun. She gets excited when she sees the water, the toys, etc. that she screams with delight and kicks until I put her in the water. Then she tries to eat the toys and stand up in the tub. She didn’t sit still the entire time. She was wiggling back and forth, stirring up the water, splashing, and playing and enjoyed every minute of it.




I bought her the rubber duck the other day when I was out with her. I picked it up in the shop and she got so excited at seeing it, crying when I put it down, that I had to get it for her. Logan likes it too. It has 3 little ducklings that sit on its back but I don’t give them to Lila as they are the perfect size to fit in her mouth and she still eats EVERYTHING! She even ate Logan’s cookie crumbs off the floor today.

Christmas Party

Well I missed a post but I’m not going to worry about it. I had a goal of one post a day until Christmas but yesterday passed me by so quickly that I missed it completely.

Yesterday we took the children to a Christmas party some friends were hosting for children. There wasn’t much for them to do as they were the youngest there and the games were over their heads, but they still had fun. I made my now-popular chocolate cake and decorated it like a gift. (Uh-oh, I forgot to take a picture of it.)

Lila spent most of her time crawling around and finding any dirt that was missed, and Logan clung to me until he warmed up to the other kids and started playing with them. Each of the kids got a toy when they left and Lila has been chewing on hers all morning. (Well, it is a teether, so…)

Just a few minutes ago I was sitting here and I forgot she was playing in the room. (Yeah, it’s a gift I have. I can block out the noise of a child playing while I work.) Logan is asleep but Lila is on a different nap schedule so she is playing. But after a while I noticed she was too quiet. My glance around the room showed she was on the floor under the table (at my feet, mind you) and was eating some paper from the trash can. I usually move it when she is on the floor but this time I forgot. She never likes it when I take it away from her. She cries this mad cry until I give her something else. Such are the joys of exploring babies.

Christmas Is In the Air

It feels more and more like Christmas at our house right now. Actually, it’s been a few years since I’ve felt this much in the Christmas mood. Don’t ask me why ’cause I don’t know. Maybe it has to do with my children. I’m trying to make it fun for Logan, doing Christmasy things, playing music and videos about Christmas and Jesus’ birth, etc. I want him to know the real meaning of Christmas and at the same time have fun.

Sometimes I miss the Christmasy atmosphere I grew up in. I used to love snow at Christmas as it seemed to complete the season. Christmas isn’t such a big deal here in India, though it is growing. I miss having snow; I would be so happy to have it just for this month. The rest of the year I am content with sun and heat but at Christmas I like snow.

We plan on doing our decorating sometime this week. I know, we are behind, but haven’t had the time to do it. Also, with small children in the house, I’m afraid to put up anything breakable. I guess I’ll have to put the tree up a little high for its own safety.
I made gingerbread cookies the other night and they were gone in less than 24 hours. I think I may need to bake frequently throughout the year and then people won’t go so hog wild over the treats at Christmas.

Christmas Memories From 2005

I do have many Christmas memories, most of which are very happy and fun (and I will tell you all about them in another post), but today I am going to tell you about a Christmas that I won’t ever forget. It happened 4 years ago today.

On December 5, 2005,  I was in a car accident that left me with a fractured arm (in 5 places), a gash on my right cheek, a sprained ankle, and on crutches for the whole season. There were 7 of us in the car but only 2 got hurt, and I was least hurt. The boy in the seat in front of me was knocked unconscious, had severe head injuries, and to this day has no recollection of the accident. The others made it out without injury.

We were returning to Bangalore after a trip to Goa. Part of the road in Goa winds through the mountains and you can’t see around the curves. We were in a brand new Toyota Innova and got hit on the drivers’ side (that is the right here in India). What happened was, a truck, one of those huge shipping trucks that are common here, was parked on the road. There was no side to the road so the driver had left it parked on the road where the oncoming traffic was. Things like this are common, so no one would think much of it.

Another similar truck was coming from the other direction and we couldn’t see it. Our driver swerved in time to avoid a head-on collision, but the truck ripped through the car from the passenger door behind the driver all the way out the back. The boy who got hurt was sitting in front of me and had fallen asleep with his head on the window. That is why he got hit so hard. He was also not wearing a seat belt, so was thrown to the side when we got hit. I was awake and wearing a seat belt, but somehow the force of the impact caused me to get hurt.

As soon as the truck hit us, our car spun around 360 degrees for a whole spin (maybe two). The roof rack with all our luggage was ripped off and bags went everywhere.  Windows were blown out. My glasses went flying. A necklace I was wearing broke off and I never found it again. Next to the boy who got hurt were two younger children. Of course seeing him get knocked out and his head bleeding freaked them out and they were both screaming.

Once the car stopped, the driver got out to assess the damage. The children’s mother got them out and brushed shards of glass off of them, while the girl who had been lying down and sleeping next to me (and didn’t get hurt at all) climbed over the seat to check on the boy. After rounding up the luggage and finding out where the local hospital was, we slowly drove off.

I picked up my glasses, but since the glass was out of them, they were useless to me. I left them on the seat as we arrived at the tiny local clinic. People surrounded the car right away, mostly of curiosity, as is so common during an accident here. Then the doctor arrived along with a few other people. The right side of the car was so dented that the roof was pushed onto the seat and the door could not open, so they pulled the boy out from the other side and onto a stretcher.

Then it was my turn. The only way out of the back was to climb over the seat in front. At that time, I knew I was injured but I didn’t know how badly. Moving was painful, but I had to get myself out.  I slowly stepped out, and someone, trying to help me into the wheelchair, put their hand on my right shoulder and I screamed from the pain. I was wheeled into a small room to await treatment.

While the others took care of the many details that come with an accident and injuries, I was in a small room with several doctors and assistants. I should mention that this hospital was so “local” that everyone was barefooted and the floor was cement. Once person washed the glass from my eyes and face, and stitched up the gash in my cheek. Then came the x-rays. They tried to get me to stand up for a full-body x-ray, but I couldn’t stand without feeling faint, so they got as many as they could while I was lying down. I told them where I was hurting and they x-rayed that part. But I had to stand for them to x-ray my shoulder and I nearly did faint. Once that was done, I was moved to another room.

Meanwhile they were trying to figure out how to help the unconscious boy. This clinic was so small that they didn’t have any of what he desperately needed, and it was so out of the way that they had to send back to Goa for an ambulance, which only arrived a few hours later.  After a while, the boy was moved into the room I was in, followed by a senior doctor and a group of nursing students. They stood around while the doctor shaved the boy’s head and stitched the large gash that he had. They also cut his clothes off so they could check the rest of his body for injuries.

After he was cared for, I got a plaster cast put on my arm and it helped me feel better. I remember needing to use the toilet by this time, and struggling with my jeans, having only one good hand to use.

Once the ambulance arrived, we were moved into it, and everyone else got in too. We were heading back to Goa, to take the boy to a better-equipped hospital. His parents were called and they were able to meet us there. I stayed in Goa for about a week, slowly recovering at the home of some people I didn’t know, while the boy was in critical condition in the hospital. Soon I was able to get a flight back to Bangalore and rest at home, but I spent the whole Christmas season hobbling on a crutch. My left foot was sprained, as was my right shoulder,  and my right arm and hand were in a cast. At least I was still able to get around. But it was a rather painful Christmas.

Here I am all bashed up. My fingers and foot turned all shades of purple before they healed. The little girl is Sakshi. I was her nanny for 3 years. This was taken after I got home, not more than 2 weeks after the accident.

After a short time, I found that my arm was swelling under the cast, so I went to a doctor and he cut the cast, then later had me come for a new one. The new one was one of those molded ones that is soft when they wrap it but then hardens. I had to wear the cast for 9 weeks because some of the smallest bones in my hand were fractured. They take longer to heal because there is less blood flow to them than to other bones.

Because of this, I learned to do many things with my left hand that I wasn’t able to do before, such as writing and putting on makeup. I can’t do those things now as I stopped practicing once the cast came off, but I got pretty good at it out of necessity.

It took me years to get over the fear of traveling on the highway here. Even now I am uncomfortable on the highway. I never ride in the front seat while on the highway, only the back.

And in case you are wondering, this boy, who was 15 at the time, made a full recovery. Only a few months after he was released from the hospital in Bangalore (where he was moved to since that was where his parents were living),  he went back to the hospital in Goa, where the doctors had been convinced he wasn’t going to make it, and sang for them. (He is a singer and musician.) The nurses cried, so happy to see someone they had fought for make it.

While that wasn’t one of my happier Christmases it sure is memorable.

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