Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pesach Vacation, by April blogger of the month Radha Mayuri Garikepati


Pesach Vacation: Sri Lanka, the location of my future, now imaginary, destination wedding, is beautiful country—lush green hills and glittering beaches, humid with daily torrential downpours (at least while I was there). The most interesting sights involved some moderate to intense aerobic exercise and so I climbed stairs, biked, or walked through Buddhist temples and ancient cities where I saw worshippers leave bunches of lotuses as an offering to the Buddha. This peaceful image was disturbed when the entire country went into tsunami panic-mode after an earthquake hit Sumatra. Mercifully, there was no tsunami and I continued my journey to the glorious southern coast. I met some lovely people along the way—the four of us united by the fact that we had purchased tickets for a cancelled train route. The final days of my trip passed lazily going out dancing, swimming and sitting on the beach as the sun rose on the Indian Ocean. Then it was time to come home.

Older generation cough suppressants make a great travel companion—I had developed a hacking cough during my trip and could only find the drowsy kind of medicine. I do not even recall changing flights. After an exhausting return journey through Amman I finally stepped into the Jerusalem Central Bus Station and filled my nostrils with the familiar smell of chocolate croissants (they are a staple here). I boarded the bus and saw a young soldier peacefully napping on the bus with his M-16 slung across his lap. I relaxed in not one but two seats and watched the pale buildings in Jerusalem move past in the glow of a pinkish sunset. Reassuring sights and smells. Home.

It’s May and almost make-a-decision-about medical school time—exciting!  I expect that you may want to hear another perspective about life in B7. Apologies if it lacks some originality but here I go: I have met many splendid people with a broad range of accomplishments—some are ardent students of global health and some are not. Shabbat dinners or casual get-togethers usually guarantee delicious cooking and decadent gluten-free desserts. Dairy, produce, and chocolate simply taste better here. I’ve also been fortunate enough to celebrate some Hindu festivals with my classmates—a spur-of-the-moment Diwali celebration and almost a Holi water balloon fight that was cancelled due to the most recent rocket fire. Overall, life is good.

Chalva and Nick
 After my trip I realized that I had spent the amount of my entire tax refund without having filed my taxes. I’m on the verge of broke. Keeping that potential drawback in mind, I strongly recommend some international adventures during 1st year. It’s one year ago I visited Israel to make my decision about MSIH, on LagBaOmer, a Jewish celebration involving bonfires. Time has zoomed by! Finals are over. Whoa. I just became a 2nd year. - April blogger of the month Mayuri Garikepati