lunes, 25 de agosto de 2014

Camille, RIP :(

Camille Emme
(01/14/11 - 08/21/14  )
Camille waiting at Vodafone office.

I cried like a baby two nights ago over Camille. For the past two months I've been telling Libby that if she lost that doll it was going to be her fault. I was, however, alway taking care of the doll. Libby would leave her at the restaurant, or in the hotel restrooms, or at the pool... but I was always keeping track of Camille. The day I didn't, we lost her :(

I felt guilty even tough I knew I wasn't responsible. We know we left the hotel with her, but once we were ready to leave the Vanilla Place, we couldn't find her. I want to say she is there, somewhere. I keep asking Libby and she says she didn't drop it from the auto. I feel like going back over and over, but maybe someone took her if Libby actually dropped it. Anyway... I'm surprised that Libby didn't really cry. She asked where Camille was for a couple of days, but she knows it's lost.  But she wasn't crying. I kinda wanted her to cry so that I could tell her that it was going to be okay. 

The whole hotel staff was concerned about Camille. And I mean EVERYBODY. These people have become our family after living here for 25 days. We know their names, their faces, and I'm sure they really care about us. We might be guests, but they care. 

Street Snack
Cows on the streets

Dreaming ;) 

Mr. Sugumar brings my children chocolate milkshake (chocolate milk) every single morning -every single morning- without me asking. I don't even have to ask for my filter coffee anymore. They know that Mrs. Emerson is going to ask for it. Miss Monika is the beautiful girl with the blue saree that welcomes people at the hotel. She comes to talk to us every single day when she sees us. She was the one asking me about church. She's Hindu, by the way, but she likes going to church. Then go crazy, Miss Monika. I'm sure you'll hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't have to convince you of anything. 

I once heard ndy Stanley say this: Poeple who were nothing like Jesus liked Jesus because Jesus liked people who were nothing like Him. I want to be that person. God is teaching me to shut my mouth and listen more. I'm listening more, really - which surprises even me. And that's how I am getting to love these people so much. I really am. Because I am getting to know them, and knowing what they care about. 

Eating at our favorite restaurant

The point is that the whole hotel was asking Libby the next day if she was doing okay about Camille. As much as I cried (for my own guilt) I told Libby that we knew Camille was a doll that we wont't be ever able to replace (darn you, Cabbage Patch dolls), but the true blessing here was that Libby was surrounded by people who loved her and cared for her. Everybody was asking about the doll. Everybody was alerted on the hotel to look for it! 

Miss Monika, Mr. Raja, Mr. Santhosh, Mr Gopinath, Mr. Sugumar, Miss Aakriti, Mr. Ganesh, Ahim, Didham, Cheff Partha, to name a few, all asked about Camille... Good thing is that we have to mourn Camille. I don't think it will help my daughter to have another doll right away. I think too much about stuff like that, but I don't want her to think that you can replace things like that just because... But Grandma Azu offered to send her a replacement for Camille once we had an address, and I'll take her on that soon :)

Grocery store

There's your cupcake aisle, America ;) 

It seems that we don't do a lot every day, and we really don't - ha! But in a way things here go slowly. In Houston I was never very busy to start with. You know, my children didn't go to play school or anything, and we did have a schedule everyday, but our day wasn't packed. Even though that was our life, I feel that being here, we are taking it even more slowly. I am spending much more time with my children. Like just with them. I think I have that feeling because I haven't cooked a single meal in over two months, and I've been eating at restaurants, and my laundry has been done and folded (first by my awesome father-in-law, now by the hotel laundry department). 

Having breakfast

My mom was feeding my children or taking us to lunch. And I haven't cleaned or vacuumed. So all that time has ben used in spending time with them. For my sanity, we have watched more TV lately because in Chennai there is not a lot to do if you have little children. It is hot outside to start with, and I haven't found any nice places to take them and play. 

The place a lot of people have told me about is the Vanilla Place, but they charge you 5 bucks per child (3 dollars from 9 am-11 am). I mean, it's nice, but only for a little while. I guess it's great if you a have an infant who's crawling and getting to move, but Libby is too old now for that equipment, and they jumped up and down, but got bored pretty quickly. I'm not paying five bucks once or twice a week for that. There are not real playgrounds like the ones they were used to in Cypress. There are playgrounds, but either they are inside a private club or they are inside apartments. I'm not paying a membership in an expensive club just to please my children. 

Pool of balls

The library is nice to go to, but you cannot checkout books, and that's something Libby liked doing. We can still go and read, tough. And there's a system here, where you pay a yearly fee and they bring you books to your house. Still, it's like 6 books at a time, which Libby will devour in a day... but we are learning about things to do here and there. Once we move and get to know our neighborhood, I'm sure we'll come up with more things to do. Plus Libby might benefit from going to a little play school so she can get to run and play with children her age. 

We have been going to the pool, and we actually went to a small gathering the hotel had for India's Independence Day. It wasn't anything big, just some appetizers, and sodas. The sweets here are to die from diabetes!! 

India's Independence Day

BSF was awful last week. Libby threw a whole tantrum over a toy that Enzo had - a toy she wasn't supposed to play with in the first place. They were very subtle and sweet with me in approaching my ways of educating my children. They didn't question me or anything, more than anything they were pretty respectful because they had no idea about me or my stand with God, and how I was raising my children. I ended up having a heart to heart conversation with the Children's Supervisor about many things, and the way I discipline my children. So at least now, we are on the same page.

Anyways, I had to stay there for a while until she calmed down, but I decided to take her out. She didn't want to be there, fine. But Enzo stayed. Libby wanted me to take Enzo out, too. But I explained to her that Enzo was enjoying his class, and that she needed to wait until his class was over. Blah, blah... I don't wanna write the whole speech. But pretty much I explained to her that the world does not and will not revolve around her. It's not all about her.  

Trying new things

Swimming on his own
Handsome :)

Enzo has been talking a lot more. Ever since we came here he is repeating almost every single word we say. Since we got to the hotel he was very shy, so shy that he seemed rude. We were actually making him shake hands, and stuff. We had been reading devotions here and there, and there was one about being a porcupine. If you are not kind to people around you, the truth is nobody will want to be your friend. So whether it was the devotion or just the fact that he's seen the people for more than three weeks, he is warming up. He is shaking hands with everybody, blowing kisses to the ladies, etc. Actually, we went to the mall the other day. As I was walking I saw a group of ladies hovering around Enzo, but made nothing out of it. When Libby and I turned around Enzo was surrounded by a group of teenagers who had asked Emerson permission to take photos of Enzo. Sure, why not?

Indian Beauties with my Mexican-American

So after a long of time of hotel living, my queenship is coming to an end. As of yesterday, we are the happy leasers of a beautiful apartment near the beach. The beach is kinda ugly, but it is the beach. Emerson and I cannot agree on why I am so happy that we live close by. He thinks it is nice enough to go up to the terrace and see the beach. I, on the other hand, think that if you have the sea right there half a mile from your house, why wouldn't you go sit in front of it? Different perspectives, I guess. I'm not saying I'm going every day with my children, but I mean, at least once a week... hopefully. They cried yesterday as they saw the ocean for the first time, so there's no way to know how it will go.  

View from our terrace

First Encounter with the Sea

Anyway, Emerson took a picture during the weekend, I think. It gave me a lot bittersweetness if I'm making sense. I was still sad and grieving Camille in a way this morning while I was writing this post. Libby was sad, I think, but the photo shows her taking care of Nemo now. She began taking Nemo everywhere as she was taking Camille before. I made sure to mark Nemo with a permanent marker, phone number and all, with a message that said RETURN IF FOUND, ha! 

Today we spent all morning after breakfast in the room because I had to check on Libby. She bumped her head - her forehead- yesterday because she fell off the bed while jumping. She remained on the mattress that was on the floor without moving. Emerson and I think that she passed out for a moment because she was woozy, and not herself when she got up. This morning you could see a purple bruise on her forehead, and wasn't acting like herself. We couldn't tell if it was because there was something serious going on or if it was too early when we woke her up. But she is her old self right now. 

After being inside all morning I was ready to get out and take a walk. I really wanted to go look for Camille. We lost her on Friday morning, and Emerson went to the place on Friday evening, too, but nothing was found. I had been asking Libby if she had dropped Camille on the road, but she said she didn't. I was sure, almost sure, Camille HAD to be in the Vanilla Place. But Emerson said I couldn't be sure. So I told Libby that we were going to look for her one last time. I, the mom, needed to make sure Camille wasn't there. I think Libby was over it, but I wasn't. 


I also made perfectly clear we were not going to play at the slides, we were on a mission. She had to look for her doll. I also told them that if Mr. Rama wasn't there to take us on the auto we wouldn't go. But long story short, we went after dealing with autos that want to overprice us. Mr. Rama had become like our driver, but he wasn't there. But a honest driver took us there, waited for us outside the place. We asked again about Camille. The security guy said Emerson had gone on Friday, I agreed. I said Libby wanted to look for her doll one more time - I lied. I wanted to look for the doll one last time. I go in and ask for Camille. The lady says they didn't find her. But then, another lady talks to her in Tamil...

They ask me how the doll looks like, and I describe her as a soft doll, with a big head, big cheeks, awful black hair, very dirty... you know, Camille. 

I've found out Indian people are not very touchy. Some are really touchy, tough. Mrs. Paccai (which you pronounce Pachee, /ch/ like in church, /ee/ like in bee), carried Libby and gave her hugs and kissed her all over the place on Sunday. Mrs. Paccai is the lady that works at the building where we are going to be living. She is always there, so Ramia is her granddaughter, and she is there to help us with anything. Ramia is nine years old, but looks older. She is my translator, but I cannot really trust her translations, ha ha ha!!

Our new home :)

So Paccai tells me to sit, and offers me a chair. 

No, no, we have to go, Mrs. Paccai.
-[Tamil. I'm sure she said sit. Offers the chair again]. Milky. Tea, tea. Milky.
Oh... tea. With milk? Uhm, sure. Why not? Thank you.

Paccai brings tea and begins talking like I understand Tamil. Asks about Emerson.

- Oh, he will be back. He will drink his tea, don't worry. So, Ramia, are you related to Mrs. Paccai?
- No.

Later translations reveal Paccai is Ramia's grandma. In the meantime, we are talking. Ramia somehow tells me she is learning English at school and she is going to the 4th grade. Paccai gives Libby a bobby pin for her hair, and wants to give her a hug. I give Libby the look and speak Spanish to her. Dale abrazos a Paccai, ahorita mismo, y deja que te abrace. Te quiere como si fuera una abuela. Let Paccai hug you, hug her back. She loves you like a grandma. So there you have Libby hugging Paccai, and Enzo is drinking my tea, that is as sweet as Diabetes Mellitus. Emerson is not coming back, and I'm beginning to feel awkward, but I never felt not welcomed. If anything I'm not used to people to serve me. People here have a servant's heart, and I'm not talking about them being servants. They really want to serve you. Probably not all of them, but most of the ones I've met. 

Mexicans are not like that. I mean, everybody around the world talk about our hospitality and how warm we are. We are not, at least not ALL the Mexicans I know, and I know quit a few. Tamilians are just over the top kind. By the way they also introduced me to Carolyn, who would babysit for the children, and can be of any help by cleaning the house, or just regular housework.  

All this to say that some people are not very touchy...

Mommy's heart knew it!!!

Rag doll?, they ask at the Vanilla Place today. Yes, yes. Rag doll, I say. They speak Tamil among them again. Then the lady goes into a room, and opens it. The place is also a play school. So she goes in, and I'm so excited that Camille might be there, but I'm afraid of being disappointed. And then she comes back with Camille!!!


I jumped and hugged the lady, and said thank you, like a thousand times. She must have thought I was kind of crazy for being making this over a rag doll, but I knew Camille HAD to be there. Libby was like whatever... Anyways, I hugged the lady and she was not like Paccai, but it doesn't matter. We found Camille, who as of now has on the back of her neck the next legend: PLEASE RETURN CAMILLE IF YOU FIND HER. CALL LIBBY AT xxx phone number. And my email address.  

We came back to the hotel. The auto charged us 50 rupees, instead of 200, like the other guy wanted. I gave him 70, he was very happy with that. We went to the hotel restaurant to celebrate Camille's return with ice cream. I'm just waiting for Emerson to open the door pretty much. We missed him today, a lot, but we are very, very happy. Of course, we made sure Miss Monika knew how happy Libby was about the doll. Mr. Gopinath is working the night shift at the restaurant, so we got to see him today. We'll try to find Mr. Rama to tell him Camille is home. After all, he lived that crisis with us on Friday.

Oh, I registered for a race on December. I'm training for it. I sweat like a pig in this weather, but I'm very happy I am able to run. We have BSF tomorrow. I'll let you know how it went :)

Chocolate ice cream to celebrate :)


1 comentario:

  1. Amiga. Donde andaass.!!! Grata sorpresa encontrar tu blogg y leer tus chocoaventuras.!! Que grandes están tus bebes. Un saludo desde tierras aztecas. No tengo el gusto de conocer a Emerson pero saludalo de mi parte. Espero leerte pronto. Tienes email. Me gustaría consultarte algo. El mio es ricardo.ramirez.Ing@hotmail.con.