They are so special to us. We met them within the first 5 minutes of stepping off the bus that picked us up at the train station, as we are standing in front of our home we were going to spend the next 5 months. Ros was walking home from school and introduced herself. They lived just a few houses down from us, and they had arrived, two days before we did. They spent the same time than we did, and we became good friends, sharing the ups and downs of our days in a foreign country.
This time, we are together here, at our home. What a fun way to gather once again. We have missed seeing them and never thought we would see them again, this soon.
While in India, we saw them every day, and really, most of the day too. There was one time, when we went camping up in the foothills of the himalayas for 6 days, it was the most days we didn’t see each other. And even those other times that we traveled for 2-3 days, we called each other. We liked seeing them every day. We got used to that. It was fun.
We usually ate lunch together, at The Mess. We went to the swimming pool every day. We walked to school together and walked back home, usually. Lucas learned few things about playing cricket with Mac, and he “taught” him to play baseball. They played catch. They made drawings, and read stories together. We traveled together. We saw the Taj Mahal for the first time, together. And many new places, together.
We were sometimes scared and disappointed together, sometimes frustrated together. And when we were not, we shared our fears and leaned on each other and looked for support. We enjoyed and grew a special friendship.
Now, we have great memories together and many funny stories to retell that remind us of our days together in India.
We told stories from the past and got to know each other. We shared stories of our lives before kids, in lands far away from where we were sitting back then. We told stories from those days, from the place we met and we were standing at the moment. We learned about each other’s families and friends. We met each other’s friends, in this foreign and colorful land we were calling home for few months.
We promised to see each other soon. And though we can’t really afford right now to visit them in their home in England, they came to us. And we have looked forward to their visit and stay with us, for over a year. We have talked many times, where we’d like to take them. Where we should go to share and for them to see, our home. Today, they are finally here and to say we are excited, doesn’t describe us a bit.
Last week we celebrated Mac’s birthday, and we were so happy we could have him here and celebrate together.
I made him a felted sweater blanket, for those cold days at home, so they can think of us and their visit to Portland, in the distance.
And maybe it will remind them of our friendship born in India, in Gwalior, in hot, hot weather, when it never even crossed our minds to use a wool blanket like this one.
Also, while in India, we were lucky to have been able to celebrate Ros’s birthday too. I knitted her wool hand warmers, when the days were so hot the yarn wouldn’t slide through my fingers. But I knew they would return home in England, to cold days, and maybe she could even use them in her way home from the airport, when arriving. And she did.
More than a year has passed since we’ve been back to our homes, and into our routines and daily lives. Our friendship has grown and has changed with time. We have changed with time, and especially since been to India. When we decided to go to India we thought of many reasons to do it. But most importantly, we kept thinking we wanted to make and have stories, and wanting to meet new people. Make new friends.
And we certainly did. Both. We are very lucky.