There is a new gate and driveway and a concrete courtyard at our house. It is a vast improvement. There is also a lot of fungus and mold to deal with, which is not a vast improvement. I'm a little overwhelmed by all that I need to get done. But one step at a time is a good pace.
Cultural transition feels a bit to me like playing Memory. You turn a card over, hoping it will match the card you already have, the one with your homeland stamped on it. It never matches. Maybe you squint for a moment, through the light in a certain forest, or at a particular stone formation, but then, no, it's not the same card. The trees are shaped differently, and the light hits them in a funny way. It is not your forest, after all.
It is beautiful to see new things, again and again, but it can be a little disconcerting. It is a very long game of Memory, and you are never winning.
More than the beauty or the sense of welcome from the people here, the thing that strikes me about returning to Goa is that I am finally finding matching cards. The first card is not the homeland card, it is last year, when we had Solo, or when we researched dolphins, or when we bought the bread from the breadman with the squeaky horn.
I turn them over and they match and it is bliss. I'm almost as delighted as Leafy.
(It will be a while before we get an internet connection, which is not bliss. Until then, I apologize, especially to my family and friends who have been waiting to hear back from me. These small nuggets are the best I can do for now.)