Gina and I are now in Kolkata, waiting to leave India. Everything feels kind of unreal right now. Everything is in flux. It feels very much like Oct 2009, just before we left the US.
We said goodbye to friends that we will genuinely miss. It wasn’t until this last week when I had to say goodbye to people and places in Koraput that I realized just how comfortable it had become. We had friends, we had work, we had a home. We’d grown roots without noticing. I feel sad that we have to uproot ourselves again. I feel proud that we thrived in a foreign place. I feel excited to have an adventure in Nepal and Thailand. I am greatly anticipating coming home.
Our last memory of Koraput will be the train station, with all of Gina’s co-workers helping us with our bags and finding our seats and giving us flowers.
To the people of Koraput, we say "thank you". The shop owners who I visited every week on market day, co-workers who eventually learned to trust me, friends and neighbors who invited us into their homes for meals, the tribal villagers who endured our staring during field visits, the children with their never-ending "hihowareyous".
There’s not much else to say about Koraput that hasn’t already been said on this blog. I’ll end by stealing something that Gina said on Facebook that’s worth repeating:
Dear Koraput, I usually loved you, I sometimes hated you, but I never regretted meeting you. Goodbye. I will never forget you. I hope to see you again.