The Long Road Back to North America

We are back in Oakland, California after a multi-leg trip which started on 23 March from our moisture-soaked room on the roof in Pondicherry.

23 March 2008

Maya brought sweets and curd to our quick lunch with Puru and Ajit at the original Surguru to send us off with a bit of tradition.  One last round of onion rava dosas followed by the rasgullas made with palm jaggery, then off to Chennai with Bappu and Puru.

We reached Chennai around 4:30pm and found Sujatha’s place with no difficulties despite the “old number 10, new number 2” address in Saidapet.  Bappu and Puru came up for a cup of coffee and ended up with masala dosas as well.  Sujatha looked absolutely radiant – which means that she is having lots of fun torturing her new husband, Balaji (who is a great guy and extremely tolerant).  We stayed up way too late talking and were kept up most of the night by Chennai mosquitoes that are able to bite through bedcovers and negotiate the currents created by an overhead fan.

24 March 2008

A short taxi ride to the airport and a 7:15am flight from Chennai to Mumbai, where Sachmo meets us at the new domestic terminal (a great improvement and very efficiently run, at least by Jet Airways).  We drop our luggage off at the new Mam office and get to catch up with Madhu, Akash, and Vishal.  Pani puri at Monsoon in Lokhandwala market, then off to visit with Smita and Ashok Shah, where we are the beneficiaries of left-over aamras made from the first of this season’s Alfonso mangoes.  Tea with Suchi and Shreedhar at the Tea Center near Churchgate, then back to Bandra for dinner with the Mam group, including Kumar and Brijesh.  A shower at Akash’s bachelor pad and off to the airport, courtesy of Madhu.

25 March 2008

A 4:35am Korean Airways flight to Seoul during which we awoke only for the bibim bap.  An hour and a half layover at Incheon International Airport, just long enough for a stop at Welly& Food Court to share a kim bap and then our final leg on Korean Airways to SFO, where we are picked up by Betsy and Zing.

26 March 2008

Two mosquitoes escaped from our bags when we unpacked our sodden clothes.


4 Responses to “The Long Road Back to North America”

  1. 1 pawan March 28, 2008 at 6:04 am

    welcome back! hope to see y’all soon!

  2. 2 Yaniv March 28, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    The mosquitoes followed me onto the plane too in Mumbai!

  3. 3 avantika May 13, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    hey yoo-mi,
    I have read your blog and Im looking to do some NGO work in the weekends since Im working for a few months in Bangalore.Are there any contacts/email or organisations that you could help me with?

  4. 4 yoomilee May 13, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Avantika,

    There are lots of organizations in Bangalore that take volunteers. I guess the first place I’d start is to get in touch with iVolunteer Bangalore:

    You can also get in touch with TB Dinesh (dinesh at servelots dot com), a friend who is in touch with many organizations and groups of volunteers, such as AIDIndia and ASHA for Education.

    If none of this works for you, you can search the ProPoor database of South Asian NGOs (which I manage): You can search by State and City (by entering “Bangalore” in the “Organization” field) as well as keywords, such as “Children”, Education & Training”, “Water”, etc.

    Hope this helps.

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