Yesterday I attended a bon voyage party for two friends who are leaving next week to teach in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is their brilliant second act, after retiring from prior long term careers.
We agreed to meet at Positanos, an Italian restaurant located near the center of most of our spread-out-across-the-state residences. Having celebrated a birthday there last year, and finding them agreeable to our sometimes loud laughter, mixed with delicious Italian cuisine, we felt like we couldn’t go wrong by meeting there again. And we were right.
Over slices of warm bread, and bowls of seasoned dipping oil, we gave the pair of future travelers our rapt attention. They told us all about the series of booster shots and inoculations, including polio booster, tetanus, and rabies!
Apparently, someone they knew was attacked by a rabid monkey. Not fun and not funny, really, but boy did we get a good laugh out of that one. Rabid monkeys; I can’t even imagine such a thing!
Food covered the table; pizza, salads, roast chicken, pasta dishes with chicken, eggplant, seafood. We were well fed as we listened, the air bristling with the trip details and mingled with the scent of rosemary, basil, and red sauce.
The conversation turned to packing and unpacking and repacking. Every woman I know is familiar with this story. What they have been asked to bring with them is in complete opposition to the way they normally dress, especially Booper, who loves dresses and high heels. We teased her about taking one super sexy outfit that she would only wear in the privacy of her room, with blinds closed, just to feel all girly and feminine.
Then there were the telephone issues. Josie has her Sim number but her phone starting experiencing issues with a sticking ‘k’ just last week. The phone store replaced hers with the newest updated version that no one can decipher, including the in-store technician. Of course, the teenager we brought with us, Paula’s daughter, had no problem with it. But then again, at fourteen, the telephone is her life.
I couldn’t help but think about the impact we must have on her. Most of us have sons, she is one of the few daughters of the group, the child of an independent, smart, well traveled mother. What is she absorbing in the way of possibility for herself? What will she be able to do because of what she sees us doing? As bright as she is, I’m sure it will be fantastic and I can hardly wait to see it!
Coffee made the rounds. There was a mix of thick, strong espresso for some, regular with cream for others. Booper and Josie continued their tales.
Silk and pearls, we were told, are great buys in the open air markets, which is all that is available in the way of shopping in the village where they will be going. “Send some home,” we all said. “And we’ll send care packages to you!” Pearls for Oreos and moisturizer, sounds like a deal! But the truth is, they are the real pearls and all we truly want is to have them return home safely after a happy and fulfilling journey.
They promised to take pictures and send details, perhaps a blog about their adventures. How exciting! And I will keep you, dear readers, updated!
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