Monday, September 21, 2009

Reunions

Even though we are in Galicia, I keep thinking about the reunion coming up in February for my husband's graduating class from engineering college in India. The reunion is going to be in India, and I am so looking forward to it. Out of about 140 former classmates, about 110 are coming with their spouses. Before we left for our trip, I had the good fortune to meet two couples.

Here is how it happened: Jaggadeesan is one of the key organizers of the reunion. For the past few months, he and his wife, Lakshmi Devi, have been visiting their son and their son's wife and daughter in San Jose. Through a word-of-mouth network, he tracked my husband down and we visited them in May. Then another classmate, Sampath Voora, and his wife, Madeleine, who live in Toronto, were visiting friends in El Dorado Hills, about an hour away from Sacramento.

About a week before our trip here, they all gathered at our house for a mini-mini reunion. I'm excited about seeing them all again at the big reunion. Madeleine is French Canadian and naturally she speaks fluent French. I don't even speak nonfluent French, but we have good friends in Toronto who are fluent, and we gave the Sampaths their number. Meanwhile, Devi is a writer, and has written and published travel books in Tamil, as well as a volume of poetry. We are thinking of collaborating on a story for children.

On another note, on return to Sacramento, I have a school visit coming up to discuss my book, The Fourth Wish. I've visited schools before, reading works in progress, soaking up the students' comments and applying them in rewrites. This is my first visit to discuss a published book and to do a book signing, and I'm thrilled.

Meanwhile, we have ten more days in Galicia, reading, enjoying reunions with friends here, taking long walks on winding roads, and sitting on the bench with our neighbors. Cool weather has arrived, with misty mornings. Afternoons are still sunny, with blue, cloud-filled skies. Birds twitter incessantly. Crickets chirp. Dogs bark from every farm. Roosters crow at any time of day. The rolling hills are dense with forests, and rock walls cut through pale fields, while red tile roofs dot the greenery. These details etch themselves in memory and will be recalled long after we return home.

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