Saturday, August 11, 2007

Back from India

Just back from 5 weeks in Chennai and Hyderabad, mostly working, but also took my daughter along. She volunteered at a school and lived with a family, had an amazing experience. Mine was very different from my past two trips to India. Both of those times (1986 for several months, and Feb. 2006 for a week), I was voracious, drank everything in, couldn't get enough of the life on the streets, the crazy proliferation of signboards, the food. But this time I was there mostly in responsible-to-and-for others roles, as a parent and as a director with 23 employees there and an obligation to use the time, well, responsibly.

As a consequence I spent almost no time on research, Compendium, or personal activities except for the weekends and other times with my daughter and her host family. I did spend a morning with a UNDP group in Chennai introducing them to Compendium, which went well though we didn't get to spend more time. Despite working 12-15 hour days (both India time and US morning time (-9.5 hours from IST), I came back with a load of VZ work items and very little of anything else. In the little time between work and sleep I re-read A Suitable Boy and A Fine Balance, as well as the new Harry Potter book. I need to re-ignite the other (non-VZ, non-India) dimensions of my thinking/working life but they feel far away at the moment. And there seems like very little time to do anything.

Saw a black bear walk through our yard yesterday while on a conference call for work.

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