Monday, August 23, 2010

Crazy Turned Nightmare

Just a brief update to bring you up to speed on everything. So, after all the craziness of West Virginia, it all turned into a nightmare a week ago last Friday. About 8:15 in the morning I got a call from my friend's mom telling me that she had been killed while traveling in India. She went from Sri Lanka to India to do some touring with her 15 year old son. Her mom proceeded to tell me that she was stabbed to death in her hotel room and that her son was being held as a suspect. It's all just beyond comprehension. I couldn't believe it and felt really bad for her find out that his mom had been killed and then to be held as a suspect. How terrible! Well, it gets even worse. As the details started to spill out, it is looking like he really did do it.

My friend sent me a text around 12:30 am that morning and then called her mother (who was with me). I'm guessing she went to bed just after that conversation. Later, during the night, her son allegedly cut her throat, dragged her body to the beach nearby, and then tried to board a plane to Delhi.

I leave tomorrow for the funeral. I'm just devastated. She was one of my closest friends and I just can't get my head around how a son can feel so much violence towards his mother. She was such a good person. I thought he was, too. He had so much going for him...spoke Italian fluently, German fairly well, too, well traveled, studied in Italy usually about half the year. I took him to Cyprus and Egypt with us last summer and he has watched my kids on several occasions. I will never get it. I guess you never really know people. It turns out that since he is a minor, it's very rare for minors to be tried as adults in India, so the most he will get is probably three years. Insane. I will really miss her.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Going Crazy....REALLY Crazy

Well, this summer has really taken off and we have been full of travels. Around the end of June we drove 3 1/2 hours to upstate NY to see my aunt and some cousins who I haven't seen in about five years. The aunt is now 92 (I think) and has been the picture of health her whole life, until she broke a hip last year. As you know, at that point, you just never know how much longer they will last, so I thought a trip was in order. I'll post some pictures from that trip soon, but it was nice to see the house where my mother grew up and visit with some cousins.

Then we drove another five hours to CT to visit my siblings. That was a lot of fun. We got there during a heat wave and spent a couple days on my brother's boat. Thank goodness for that because it was REALLY hot and about ten degrees cooler on the water. The kids had a blast. We stayed at my sister's house and for some reason, E kept peeing in the bed! I think my sister was a little put off by that...and that fact that the kids were in and out of the house a lot. She's not used to having little ones around any more!

From CT we went to RI to visit with my other sister and took a day trip to visit with another 96 year old aunt. I'm sure the kids were just loving visiting all these old people! But, ya gotta do it. Then back to CT for a few days visiting friends and going to museums before making the 5 hour trip back home. On the way, we stopped at the Crayola factory and met up with one of e's half siblings. It was really nice to meet them and the girls look quite a bit alike.

The day after we got home, I had to get back to work. I run a week-long entrepreneurship camp for high school students every summer and that was the week. Once that was over, I had a few days to get things in order, then we were off to WV so I could do some work there...

So, this is where the craziness sets in. Originally, a friend of mine who I have been working with for about six years, asked if I would come out to WV to help her run a couple camps. She said that a girl from Italy (who we met last year) was coming to the US for the summer and that she would stay with us for a couple weeks. Great. I was really looking forward to seeing her and having her as our guest. The Italian girl was supposed to come the week of my camp. In fact, I planned to have my camp that specific week because it overlapped with a basketball camp I knew she would want to attend. Then I was hoping to have a little travel time, show her the area and go to NYC for a day.

So, I paid for E to go to camp until the end of July and planned to go to WV to help the first two weeks of August and then go to a family camp close to where we were staying in WV for the third week. My friend said there would be plenty of help to watch the kids while I was working those two weeks and they would be kept busy.

At the last minute, she calls and asks if we can get here early...the 15th. I say the best I can do is the 21st. Okay, I've paid for E to be in camp that last ten days, but if I'm getting free care and accommodations, I'm willing to eat it. Btw, I payfor e's daycare whether I'm there or not. We get here and find out we can't get into the building for two more days. We are staying in an old monastery next to a vacant castle. I thought the kids would be able to go exploring in the castle, hiking on the grounds (there are trails in the woods behind us, but they have all grown in over the years), and spend time swimming at the lake (get here and find out there are no beaches). The reality was that, when we got here (after spending two nights in a hotel - which my friend did pay for), there are no trails, no a/c, it's hotter than hell for the first week or so, we can't easily swim in the lake, the hiking trails are grown over, there is nothing to do in the area, and oh yeah, she wants me to send the kids to camp for the two weeks (which are now a week earlier than anticipated - this appears to be on my dime) while I'm working....

Okay, I'm trying to go with the flow, so I work the two camps (which were run so badly it was embarrassing), but then I have a week and a half before I can get into the family camp where I have a reservation...and there is NOTHING to internet (I'm tethering my blackberry), no tv, no kids activities in the area. No washing machine, either...I feel like I spend two hours a day just washing the sink....oh, but there were the couple of times that E peed in his bed (which is a mattress on the floor), so I had to wash the sheets and comforter....but, of course, they don't fit in the sink so I had to find an outside faucet and wash them on the ground. Are you getting the picture?

One especially wonderful day was when my friend left me to run the high school camp on my own for a couple days (oh, and did I mention she's only been here for less than half the time and right now she's in Sri Lanka for another week and a half?). I took them to the local town along with another professor who is here visiting from the Czech Republic. I was not feeling well that day, but did the work anyway (I am woman, hear me roar, right?). SO, I'm stuck here with a half dozen teenagers (whom I am constantly cleaning up after! I felt like I was following ten Pigpens), one of whom is ADD and repeats EVERYTHING 20 times. She had the heart of gold, but had to tell me things over and over and over again...constantly...then I'm stuck with the Czech guy, nice guy but wants to tell me all about himself and the fall of communism in the Czech Republic. Half the time I can't understand what he's saying and the rest of the time, I just don't understand (or care about) the topic...oh, and did I mention that my stomach hurt so bad that I felt like I was having labor pains????? Lord get me out of here...

So, here I am, still stuck in WV. My family camp reservation isn't until the 15th. I could stay here another week and get some work done, but I'm going so crazy that I'm contemplating going home (driving five hours) for a week and then driving back this way to go to the camp next week. I have pleaded with the camp to find a way for me to switch weeks and they are seeing what they can do. But either way, I'm screwed. If I go back this weekend, I have to drive about five hours each way (yes, I would come back for the camp - the kids and I were really looking forward to it and it will be relaxing - it's the same place we go for mother's day weekend). When I get back home, I can no longer get E into camp there, so he would be bored spending the week with me. I'm pretty sure I can get e back into daycare, but E is stuck. If I am successful at moving the camp up one week, I still won't be able to get E into camp when we return. So, there's the big question. Do I stay here and be miserable for one more week, but the kids will be able to go to camp here, or do I put all of us through the long drive back and forth, put e back in daycare and keep E with me during the week? Ugh. I just can't win.

So, that's why I've been offline for awhile. I'll post some pictures when I get back to my own computer at my office....I am working on my netbook which has no connections for that.