Thursday, Nov 20th
I’ve been waiting for this day for a long, long time. In one sense I’ve been waiting for it since early October when it first seemed possible that we might send some representatives to the International RYLA in Ahmedabad. In a larger sense, I’ve been waiting to go to India for a lot longer. Now that the day is finally here the sense of excitement is electrifying.
I set the alarm for 5:00 am today for two reasons: I knew I had a ton of last-minute details to arrange today and needed all the time I could get. But also, I wanted to be REALLY tired when I got on the plane at 8:35 tonight. My plan is to go to sleep immediately and hopefully sleep through the entire 7 ½ hour flight. When I get to Munich I’ll have a 90 minute layover, then another 7 ½ hour flight. My plan is to NOT sleep at all on that second flight. In fact, I plan to work as hard as I can on mental activities, like preparing my training plan for iRYLA, so I will be as tired as possible when I get to Delhi Ideally, I’d like to go to bed at 1:00-1:30am and sleep for 4 hours. Then up at dawn to see the sights of Old Delhi. After a full day of sightseeing I think I’ll be able to sleep a normal 8 hours at the local-normal time. We’ll see how this plan works out!
I was very busy all day yesterday and today. Part of it was making arrangements for traveling, like buying a temporary International Calling Plan from AT&T, checking in with the Lufthansa flights and printing my Boarding Passes, and most important: checking, then RE-Checking, then RE-RE-CHECKING with my super-low-budget hotel(?) in Old Delhi that they were INDEED expecting me, that they would ABSOLUTELY send a Taxi to pick me up at the Airport, and that they really and truly understood that I would be arriving at 12:10 am Indian Standard time on SATURDAY morning. The fact that most of us would call that ‘Friday Night’ but that it was in FACT ‘Saturday Morning, filled me with a deep and abiding dread that no amount of reassurance seemed to satisfy. We shall see…
Another big part of today’s activity was preparing for our RYLA Sr Counselor’s Training Camp, aka ‘Camp O’, that takes place on the Friday & Saturday after Thanksgiving, each year. This will be the first Camp O that I ever missed even a minute of, and the first D7500 RYLA event that I missed completely. (About 10 years ago I missed 2 days of RYLA because I had to fly to California to do some computer training.) There are a lot of things I need to print out and prepare for that event, that I usually do on Thanksgiving morning, each year. It was easier to do it myself than try to teach someone else how to do it, but this was a stressful time to have to fool around with files, printers, paper cutters, laminators, hole punches and list of attendees. But it got done. I’m a little sad that I will miss Camp O this year. But the thrill of being a Master Trainer at an International RYLA and going to India at the same time is making the pain endurable, believe me!
And the third big portion of today was devoted to preparing lesson plans and activities for iRYLA. I began to create an Action Plan of discussion points, activities, games and exercises to follow with my Environmental Track. More about that later.
As the hours sped by and it got closer and closer to the time to leave, the pressure built up. But at 4:15 my son Jaime drove me to the Trenton Train Station. As I walked onto the platform the train was pulling up and I took that as an omen of many easy connections and effortless travel to come.
That proved to be the case, as there was NO ONE ahead of me at the Security Check Point (!!!) and all the connections were easy.
I DID fall asleep quickly on the 1st plane trip and slept (fitfully, but still slept) almost the whole time.
Day 1 of my trip was a BIG SUCCESS!