Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Day in Mussoorie

Tuesday morning we awoke to gray skies. We didn’t have provisions yet, so we headed up to school for breakfast. We are much closer to the school than the last two visits, only a five-minute walk. It was good to see some familiar faces in the staff dining room, along with some new ones.

It was good to get back into the Development Office and see Pete and Immu and Abhra, the new Director. Monica and Chris were both out of the office and there is one new staff member, Neva.

Down in the Quad I ran into Mary Ellen, a new staff member whom we met in Seattle in January when she and her family were just considering applying to teach here. They have settled in well although they have had a number of health problems. They are living in the same duplex that we occupied last spring. There were many old friends to greet throughout the day; there's always a feeling of homecoming when we arrive here.

Dan took off on foot for Sister’s and Landour Bazaars to buy a variety of things we needed, such as peanut butter (none are as good as Prakash’s!), bread, batteries for my flashlight (I should have checked at home), bananas, and more. He put ten miles on his pedometer by the time he was finished. At the end as he was unlocking our apartment door, a monkey came up and grabbed the loaf of bread right out of his backpack. He was so mad about it that he turned around and went back to Chayya at the top of Mullingar Hill to get another loaf.

Later on Tuesday evening I was a co-presenter in an online seminar (“webinar”) put on by CASE on the topic of International Alumni Relations. It was at a good time in North America – 2:00 in the afternoon. That was 11:30 PM here. Those of you who know me well know that is not my best time of day. Dan kindly came along back to the office with me so I could use the internet and phone, neither of which is available in our apartment. If you’ve never taken part in a seminar on the web, here is how it works: a PowerPoint presentation is on the website, along with an attendee list and chat box for questions. The 90+ participants from 31 schools could pose questions at any time. Everyone was on a phone and we presenters took turns talking and controlling the slides and the attendees could hear while they watched the screen. It was a new experience for me but worked well and was quite enjoyable. I panicked for a few minutes when my phone cut out shortly before my part was due, but I dialed in again and the operator smoothly got me back in. The others didn’t even know I was gone. Needless to say, I was happy to fall into bed at 1:30.

Yes, it’s still raining a lot. More on that tomorrow.

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