Sunday, August 7, 2011


It’s hard to describe my feelings at the moment. In little over 24 hours I will be leaving Barli. This place has been home for the past 6 weeks. It has been a place of contradictions. Barli has been my safe haven and felt like a prison. It is a place where I’ve experienced loving relationships and, unfortunately, frustrating relationships. I’ve learned many things here and it has definitely tested my sanity and my patience. I will miss Barli, not necessarily the actual place, but I will be missing the trainees and the staff. The other day, after having told one of my favorite trainees that I would be leaving on Tuesday, she looked at me and said, “No. You no go. Stay. I cry if you go. I miss you Raquel.” This is what some of the other trainees and staff have been telling me. I am going to truly miss them. I will miss my morning conversations with the cooks, Sagri and Dagri. Every morning I would go to my comfort spot, the kitchen, be greeted by Sagri with a hug asking if I was hungry or sleepy and have my outfit inspected and fixed by Dagri while she laughed at my disheveled look. I’ll miss making Dagri’s baby daughter Saloni laugh. I will miss Dagri’s sister-in-law, a 10 year old, tell me her name repetitively saying “San-geee-ta”, until I pronounced it sufficiently. I’ll miss Chandalmai’s (the Batik lady) infectious laugh, Primela’s help with Moti (jewelry beading), Bharat and his lovely family, and even little Khusi. I’ll miss the facilitators Ramila, Savanti, Ranu, Rekha, and Lakshmi. Saying goodbye is not easy, especially when I know that it will truly be goodbye.

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