Thursday, December 15, 2005
It has been another long stretch since our last entry. Earlier in November, my (Tarak’s) family visited us for a few weeks. It was a whirlwind of a trip. We had been so looking forward to their arrival, and after they left, we missed them a lot. After getting settled in (that’s jetlag for 10 adults, 4 kids) for a few days and some preliminary (or should I say excessive) shopping, we headed out to Goa. For those of you who don’t know, Goa used to be a Portuguese colony. What remains can be seen in the white cathedrals, Goan cuisine, especially the curries and last but not least, the festive atmosphere. We stayed at a place on Baja beach called the Villa Goeasa. The accommodations were awesome. It was a nice blend of big clean rooms on the beachfront without the big resort prices. For most of the days, we would hang out on the beach and enjoy the nice cool breeze; people watch, eat panner tikka with some cocktails, watch the sunset and most importantly, play with the kids (best part!!). Our nieces and nephew (Shivani, Dhruv, Anjali and Maia Karina) were ecstatic playing on the beach and in the water. We couldn’t get enough of them. Having our nieces and nephews, and being called “mama” and “mami” (Gujarati term for maternal uncle and aunt) is the best deal…you get to have all the fun without any of the responsibilities!! During the evenings, my sisters would frequent (or more like attack) the roadside stalls looking for deals on Indian handicrafts and designer clothes.
After Goa, we went to back to Baroda and hung out with our own “mama” and “mami”. We even had the chance to visit my mother and father’s villages and meet some of our distant relatives. The entire last week of their stay was filled with shopping, shopping and more shopping. I usually have a high threshold for shopping but by the end of the week, I was exhausted. At end of this week, I went with Alpa (my youngest sister) to Hyderabad to visit her in-laws relatives. You know it was crazy, since the start of our trip 5 months ago, these 3 days were the first time, Sharvari and I had been apart…going from spending 24-7 together, it was hard (a little cheesy, I know). Of course, once the kids left, we totally went into niece/nephew withdrawal...it just wasn’t the same without them!!
We also went back to my dad’s village, Vasad, and spent 3 days at the local school, grades kindergarten through 10th, doing school physicals on over 700 kids. It was a blast! All of the boys would only stand in line to be seen by me, and the girls went to Sharvari. Anytime, I had to examine a girl, she, along with the entire line of girls, would go pink in the face and erupt into giggles in the middle of my exam. It was neat being like pseudo-celebrities…everyone knew about the “doctors” in town..Oh ya, we've added some more photos to Our Trip Photos link.