One of the more juvenile -and reprehensible- habits that M and I had fallen into when working together was writing notes to each other during meetings. I came across this exchange in my notebook the other day:
C: I am not sure they have understood the larger goal of the project. Should we initiate a short session discussing that?
M: I dont think they like us..
M's reply wasnt really the sad non-sequitur it sounds like. This was a new education-based project being initiated, and the partners seemed absolutely unimpressed with the two women hosting the meeting.
Imagine my reaction then, when I was again called to intereact with the same partners, but in my role as civil engineer. Initially, I needed to establish my credentials- something I thought I had stopped needing to do 8 years ago. I am glad I persisted, because I was given wonderful gifts at the end of it.
After nearly a year of scheming to go to Pithoragarh, I was sent there with a day's notice. I stayed in village homes hosted by truly generous families. The photo of the golden glacier was snapped from the porch of one of the houses I stayed at. And the people..
Most were quietly friendly, like this stunningly beautiful grandmother
But there were also the imps. I met these siblings during work, and enjoyed talking to them and taking photos.
They would come running up to see the pictures on my camera and jostle each other out of the way.
Far more dignified was their ring-leader. Not once did she come up to me or chat, preferring to oversee her gang from a distance. That child is pure drama..note the pretend-cigarette.