Thursday, December 18, 2008

'Tis the season...and feeling more like it.

So life is returning to a new normal in Mumbai. Not only for us but for colleagues and the city's OTHER twenty million people. Folks are on edge, but you really have to admire the Mumbaikers. They, like New Yorkers after 9/11, are angry at the terrorists, fed up with the politicians, and they're not going to live in fear. The Taj and Oberoi hotels are opening this weekend - a triumphant snub to terrorists who held the city hostage for three days. Only one of them survives - I hope he realizes he lost.

It's been an uphill struggle at work - folks are still exhausted and dealing with the aftermath. (Note to those who travel - if you're ever in a terrorist attack, please take your luggage with you when when you escape. You don't want folks like me having to pick through it later :)). Seriously, the staff at the Consulate has done a tremendous job and Steve and I both are really proud to be part of such an amazing team. When the going got tough, the seersucker-clad diplomats put down the proverbial cocktails and dug in. Folks had to do some pretty difficult stuff - things I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies - and they did it willingly because fellow citizens were in danger and in need. Everyone still feels tremendous sadness at the loss of so many lives, but I know that every single one of my colleagues, Indian and American alike, worked 110%, even at risk to personal safety, to ensure that we took care of the survivors in the best way we could (despite what some media reports have regretfully said).

So now we move forward. Trying to get into the Christmas spirit and bring a little joy into our lives and the lives of those around us. The Consulate sponsored a giving tree for a local orphanage this year, and when I left the office yesterday, there were so many packages waiting to be delivered - I know we haven't forgotten the spirit of the season.

We had an informal holiday party at work last week - complete with a visit from Santa - and Liam's school put on a Mumbai circus show Saturday night - a chance for kids to showcase what they've been doing all year in English AND in French. As I mentioned in a previous post, Liam has been a real star throughout all of this. His school vacation starts Saturday and he'll be participating in a two-week gym camp.

Santa Clause is coming to town...

Yes, my boss....

Laying low for Christmas day - thanks to President Bush, we have Boxing Day off as well this year (for the first time ever!). Will celebrate with free range duck and, if my calculations are right, my first batch of home-brewed IPA. Joining neighbors in our building for the holiday fixin's.

Here's to a peaceful festive season and a better 2009!

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