aids, cafe, calcutta, catholocism, Christianity, christmas, cook, cooking, czech republic, darjeeling, dinner, england, himalayas, home, home for the dying, homemade pasta, india, kalighat, kangchenjunga, kolkata, london, mother teresa, mother theresa, mount everest, new years eve, prague, praha, prem dan, Religion, serve, service, sunrise, tb, tea, tiger hill, travel, truffle, truffles, u.k.
I’ve covered some ground the past three weeks. I’m home now. Exhausted, but home.
I was home for Christmas. I had a good walk and talk with my dad, one of my favorite things about going home. We discuss ideas, we learn a lot from each other, and we challenge each other. Yet the more we disagree on, the more I am certain he loves me, and I love him. Sara arrived after Christmas, I thoroughly enjoyed taking her around the city and showing her my old haunts. We even got the boat seat at le Patio. Josh joined us a few days later in time for us to celebrate perhaps the most sacred of family rituals: making good dinner. Dad got a truffle for Christmas, so we had homemade pasta with truffle white sauce, salad and wine. Exquisitely delicious.
Sara and I left and spent New Years Eve on a layover in London at the Three Magpies and Indian food from the Quickie-mart. Yes… it was a New Years to remember.
We met Brock, Mike, Sally and Ellen in Kolkata, India, where we stayed for about a week. We worked with Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa’s organization. The experience is more than can be put into words. I worked at Prem Dan in the morning and Kalighat in the afternoons. Prem Dan is a home for men who are mentally handicapped or have AIDS or TB. Kalighat is a home for the dying. Its purpose is to give residents an honorable and respected passing from this life. More on this later, though. It’s too weighty to unpack in one post.
We spent our last 24 hours in Darjeeling. It was quite a rush to sit and sip Darjeeling in Darjeeling. We woke up at 4 a.m. to catch the sunrise from Tiger Hill. We watched as the sun washed over the flanks of Kangchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. Far off in the hazy distance we could make out a white-washed triangle planted firmly and audaciously on the horizon. This was Everest.
A 3-hour jeep ride, 1-hour flight, 3-hour layover, 2-hour flight, 6-hour layover, 16-hour flight, 12-hour rest, and 4-hour drive later, and I was home again.