Monday Morning Musings

Posted on March 6, 2017 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment

The final week for my young English students


The season of Lent began last week. For Catholics, this is a time a fasting, penance and preparation.

I almost decided to give up India for Lent.

We all know how utterly slavish we’ve become to technology. Virtually everything we do requires an electronic device in good working condition with a great internet provider. For me, especially on this 6 month journey, being connected and staying connected is especially important. Yes, I could live without Facebook , Instagram and Netflix but not being able to talk to my family, arrange hotels and flights and publish stories is more than inconvenient. I have been patiently waiting (?) for over two months for the local service provider to figure out how to get high speed ( any speed would be good at this time! ) into my residence which also houses the meeting room where I am teaching ESL to the young noviciates.

Well, the “ gang who couldn’t shoot straight” came by again last week and after 10 or so hours, not only managed to not get us connected but in the process managed to disable my computer so that I couldn’t get internet anywhere on the property. Shortly after this debacle, my computer battery died and while installing the new one , which takes several hours to charge, my charger died.

So what does a guy do when his inner thermostat is nearing the boiling point? He does what most intelligent women do and goes shopping to blow off a little steam. I believe they call it “ retail therapy.” Now, long time followers of my writing know that the last place you would find me, unless dragged in wearing handcuffs , pulled by a herd of Clydesdales , is a shopping centre. However, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I haven’t written a shopping story in eons but later this week, you’ll hear about this incredible store in the neighboring city of Nagercoil. Many of you have already seen the pictures of the fabric and saris that I posted a few days ago. Not only do they have a spectacular array of merchandize but how the store operates is something to behold… and not necessarily in a good way!

The Mother Superior of the congregation dropped by the other day. She informed me (!) that I was doing such an admirable job teaching English to her young charges that I would continue my resurrected ( everything has a Lenten connotation these days ) teaching career by providing three weeks of training to three fully fledged Sisters who are studying to become medical doctors.

Thank you for all the comments about my story on the late Stuart McLean. It’s almost like three people died , now that Dave and Morley are gone as well.

A few weeks ago, I attended a lecture on demonetization. I was the special guest and when the session was over, several people stayed afterwards to chat. They were very interested in Canada and wanted to know more. A few days ago, I received a call from a young Indian school teacher requesting a meeting with me. He and four of his friends came to the convent and we spent a couple of hours chatting. The long and short of the discussion was that they want to move to Canada and were looking for information. Most teachers are very poorly paid over here, many of them earning only 10,000 rupees a month. That’s about $200. Canadian. They don’t see much of a future staying in India. With Canada facing a shortage of workers as Baby Boomers retire en masse, immigration is going to play an increasingly important role. These young men would be a great asset, anywhere they decide to go.

The young noviciates sang in English at mass for the first time on Ash Wednesday evening. They did a great job. Afterwards, in the waning light, they formed a semi-circle out front of the convent and sang “ Let it Be.” Despite never having heard of The Beatles, this has become their favorite song.

Have a great week.

P.S. Campaign Update

        I am very pleased to tell you that the fundraising campaign is humming along nicely. Thanks to a very generous donation of $5,000 to the water tap project ,our overall total for the campaign to fund several projects , stands at $18,000. Thank you very much. I will be doing a story about this donation in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Now that the water tap project is fully funded, we will continue to raise money for things like much needed maintenance work at the old age home.


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Highland Hearing Clinic

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