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Published: April 2nd 2020
Another few days of uncertainty and obstacles have brought us to Delhi today, en route back to Montreal. It was time...to make the decision and take the first opportunity that came my way.
So we’re coming home. No thanks to the Canadian government who “tried” sending 10 planes for the estimated 20,000 citizens waiting in various parts of the country. Some are choosing to stay, given the uncertainty of what their coming home to, others didn’t have the means to fly their families home at $3,000 a ticket.
By some stroke of luck I was offered last minute seats on a flight taking French citizens home and jumped on it...despite having only a few hours to pack and secure a “curfew pass” to allow the private taxi I had to hire, to get through each of the security checkpoints between dharamsala and Delhi. Miraculously I pulled it off and after a quick 8 hour taxi (imagine home much longer 500km would take if there had been any other car on the road!) we are at a hotel with the rest of the French group, awaiting our turn to be screened for the flight. They’ve treated us (non French citizens) better than
our own embassy has. And the flight was cheaper...not by much but anything less than $3,000 is welcome! We will have a layover in France, with I’m not looking forward to, but the Canadian flights would have landed us in London...not a big difference!
My strategy against the coronavirus is having so much hair in my armpits that no matter what, no deodorant will contain the smell...so chances are people will be staying very far away from me!
One of the main sources of stress here has been the Tibetan man who travelled 2 weeks ago from Delhi by taxi, only 5 days after flying from the US. He lied about his recent travel to authorities, who were already closing the borders as he travelled and He died 2 days after his arrival. Luckily, due to the strict lockdown procedures, the 13 people the police found to have been in contact with him were quarantined and after a week were tested negative. Finding out one of these men lived directly across the street from me made my decision to come home as soon as possible a little easier.
The day after sending out the last blog, I found
out the restrictions had been slightly loosened...once those test results came back and the police deemed it a slightly less risky “red zone.” So that meant Taylor and I could hike up the mountain during the 3 morning hours of time Allotted to buy groceries. We were the only ones not walking with shopping bags or cartons of eggs! And I was beyond grateful to have 3 beautiful mornings to reach Dharamkot and our favourite trail up the mountain. We didn’t make it far because it took an hour just to reach the trail! And it was the only time in my Life I made sure not to break curfew! But we made it! And we both loved it. Taylor’s been asking why we aren’t hiking, since it’s what we came here for. He would have been a wonderful hiking partner this year. My mix of emotions at being excited to sit amongst the trees and rocks was met with sadness again, for the experiences we would miss. Seeing the love my son shares with me of this wonderful place and knowing he won’t fully get to live it this time. But it is what it is.
I know we’ll
come back. I’ll waiver between gratitude for our health and the opportunity to find safety in Canada and sadness for only getting a glimpse of my happy place. Trying not to worry about my own health not holding up once we are back in our own home, free of the struggle getting there. I will do what I can, with the tools I have, to stay well.
I hope everyone else keeps themselves healthy as well, after all, this is all being done throughout the world only to save ourselves from illness.
And I hope after we get over our jet lag...and of course our 2 weeks of isolation are done, we can pass some of you on the street and wave from a distance!
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