Monday, September 24, 2012

My Travel Blog- Farewell To International Friends!

As friends of mine prepared to leave this country to travel back to India, I was invited to a special evening and dinner to say my farewells.

A little background: About six years ago I lived in Canton. The Atmakur family lived across the street from me. I had moved in just a few weeks  previous to our first meeting. One day I was in the front yard, planting flowers. The Atmakur family pulled out of their driveway, and as they did I looked up, smiled, and waved. Mrs. Atmakur Sr.  gave a radiant smile in response. From that day on, whenever we saw each other we would connect.

Interestingly- Mrs. Atmakur Sr.  spoke little to no English. And I spoke no Telugu! So we communicated with smiles and pantomime!

Slowly I got to know the whole family. Mr. and Mrs. Atmakur Sr.  live in India, but would come to the U.S. during the summers to be with their family. Their daughter-n-law Kalyani and I became good friends.

I have been a friend, an occasional  tutor, nanny, and  a mother's helper for Kalyani and her family. But first we were all friends, and that friendship has lasted for several years now.

On this occasion, and as always, the Atmakur family was warm and welcoming, with hospitality in abundance. Mr. and Mrs. Atmakur Sr.  were returning home to India that weekend.

With a summer filled with a heavy schedule for all of us, this visit was a rare one. I was glad for the opportunity to spend one last evening with them, as well as with Kalyani and the children. Their son Vinod was out of town on business, so we missed his presence.

Kalyani was anxious to show me her patio garden, she knows my love of flowers!

The children and I spent some time on their play structure.

Even in a dress, I'm game for some climbing! Ha! Another chance to let the kid in me come out and play!

I Love this "sister" picture! Sanica (left) and Meghana (right) are growing up to be such sweet girls!

The girls were more than willing to share their play structure with me!

Our visit was wonderful! Mr. Atmakur was charming and gracious, as were they all. Dinner was vegetarian for Kalyani and I.

Before I left, Mrs. Atmakur Sr. made sure I had some homemade goodies to take home with me.

Meghana, loving to feel like a princess in her pretty pink dress!

As they stood waving as I left, my heart was full of happiness!
I am so grateful to what ever power there be for the opportunity to know these lovely people! And I continue to connect with Kalyani, Vinod, and the girls.

 Mr. and Mrs. Atmakur Sr. have invited me to visit them in India.  Who knows! There may come a time where you'll read my blog posted from an adventure in India! Wouldn't that be amazing?!

As a flight attendant I have had the privilege to get to know, and glen friendships with people from all over the globe! What has resulted is a wonderful, educational, enlightening opportunity to widen my horizons and a clearer understanding of all people, religions, races, and walks of life. Just like Kalyani's flower garden- diversity blended together brings the best out in all!

Life is truly an adventure! And a wonderful part of that adventure is "international friendship"!

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