Moving In

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in GPS Blog Posts | 2 comments

front door of house

Saturday June 20
And so the saga begins. What began fourteen months ago with a conversation following the 2014 York School India Trip slowly gathered momentum and now, I find myself sitting at the dining room in the Global Pathways School principal’s residence in Bharathi Nagar, Coimbatore. It’s just after six in the morning. I’ve been awake for at least a couple of hours with jet lag. The lights and fans work but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why there’s no running water. There was water last night. Did we use it all? There must be a way to get more. I’ve tried every tap in the house and all I’m getting is the hiss of empty pipes. If I had a functioning phone, I could call Sunbeam in an hour or so and ask her if she knows what the secret is. Phone and water are on today’s to do list.
Joy and I arrived in Coimbatore yesterday mid-afternoon with six stuffed duffle bags from Chennai where we overnighted. Door to door from Toronto to Chennai is a twenty four hour trip. We’ve moved to India once before. When we did it in 1997 we had three young kids in tow and we were moving from Ecuador via Saskatchewan and Ottawa. That move didn’t seem as arduous as this one or maybe I’ve just forgotten how difficult overseas moves can be. I’m not sure. Maybe it’s an age thing. I found the process of dismantling our home and deciding what to do with all our stuff very stressful. I just wanted to make it all go away. The piles and bags of things set aside to offer to various people, the piles and bags of things we wanted to store, the piles and bags of things we needed to pack, and then, all the rest. Complicating matters, we were also dismantling our cottage so it can be rented out while we’re away. When we left last Wednesday, miraculously, everything had been stored, disposed of, or packed.
And now as I look around our water-less new home in India I see piles and bags of stuff that needs to be put somewhere. But right now there are no shelves, no cupboards, no chest of drawers, no closets, no towel bars: where will all this stuff go?
I know it will all get sorted out and Joy and I will make a very comfortable home for ourselves here. We are both very excited about this new great adventure and look forward to getting to know our new city and neighbourhood and especially our new school community. This weekend though, it’s all about first steps in making our new home liveable. We already have a long and growing shopping list. Our driver Raja is coming to pick us up at 10:00, we’ll use his phone to make calls about the water and phone, and then we’ll be off to the shops. A Canadian Tire store would be ideal but we’re not going to find one here so it’ll be a day of multiple stop shopping.

Sunday June 21
Okay, so the water wasn’t that big of a deal. After wandering around the house upstairs and down for an hour or so I spotted the gardener at the house across the street. The house across the street is owned by Mr. Sajit, who is also our landlord, so the gardener knows the ins and outs of our place. He came over and showed me the pump switch and the water crisis was averted. Wew.
We’ve made three trips into Coimbatore for supplies and provisions. Note to self, never go to the Brook Fields mall on Sunday. We have enough of everything to survive a few days. It’s going to take some time to organize our new home though. It’s brand new, sleek, beautiful, and shiny but there are zero shelves, cupboards, or closets. So we’re back to piles and bags of things all over the floor. Sigh.


  1. Love hearing your stories. Keep them coming. Rob and I were in at your Toronto office, took one look around and decided that the packing up and organising that needs to be done there can wait for another day! xo

  2. Between you (Jim & Joy) and your students, I wonder who will be learning more. You set a good example for your students: a love of learning….even if it is how to access water.

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