JDB and I don’t actually know each other all that well. In fact, we’ve only met twice.
But we’re pretty intertwined. We both worked at Camp Chief Ouray. Unfortunately our stays didn’t overlap, but I did work with her cousin and her brother. We both studied in Madison, albeit for only a brief period at the same time. She lived with one of my old ALPs coworkers and a law school classmate. And we’ve both hiked with the same friends, just never at the same time.
Thanks to the prodding of a meddling cousin and an overactive imagination, I was kinda hoping she was coming to India for a CCO fairytale, but alas a boyfriend back home nipped that plan in the bud pretty early on. (Darn O.P.G.F.s...) Instead, she had honest-to-goodness decided to come to India for the skin diseases. Enjoying her two-weeks of annual leave from dermatology residency to visit HIV clinics, leprosy colonies and health camps in slums.
Her early morning arrival was delayed an entire day due to problems in DC, but Raghu and I were able to whisk her through the deserted nighttime streets under the cover of darkness, so her first experiences in India were the far more gentle apartment surroundings. But from the first day, she dove into India, crossing streets like a champion and lining up a variety of observations. The stories she’d tell every night over dinner were pretty amazing.
Having a two-week houseguest was great. She jumped into high culture (diplomatic dinner parties full of bureaucrats) and low culture (Planet of the Apes) alike. She was the perfect excuse to discover new favorites around town: 1857 and Waterfront. We walked through the Bollywood Ohri’s, but didn’t stay for the buffet.
After all, we were off to Kerala!