When I first came to Colorado Springs in Aug-2004, I knew no one here and no one knew me! Peggy was the in charge of all the administrations related to us. From apartment, to food supplies at home, to transportation to office or grocery to driving classes, it was she who helped me and other Indian colleagues with absolutely full dedication. We had no issues and only one name occurred to us for any question or help. From that day to today, things have changed, she is no more with the company, her husband Mike, died in a car crash but I am glad that there is something that is in our control- our friendship!
So I made sure I meet her during my visit. I met Peggy at her house on a Sunday and I rode with her on her BMW that speeded from stop to freeway speed in absolutely no time! After a nice burrito lunch at Chipotle we drove to her newly bought house, where two of her friends are renovating it for her in return for allowing them to live there.
We visited Mike at the church. I am glad she allowed me to drive the BMW and it was a cool experience. Her dog Sarah is a sweet little bego.
Every evening, I would visit new hotel for dinner – Ethiopian restaurant was really ice. I tried injera and veg platter. The owner was nice enough to give me a sweet called catiaf for free. I went to the hobby store and went crazy! I bought a painting kit with several paints, brushes, pencils, canvas and much more all in a box that converts as an aisle. That followed with many more things like two wooden puppets, wood for carving, wood carving tool set, gardening book, vegetable seeds!
One of the days, a colleague J arranged for a Barbeque lunch for me. He also invited couple of other employees. J’s wife Kat cooked amazing vegetarian options for me such as stuffed capsicum, zucchini, bean burrito and carrot cake. It was fun time discussing gardening, food, and cultures and playing with the pet Opy.
I met my ex-Boss Alan; he is interested in writing and is currently working on some creative writing assignments on web. We had good discussion on writing, work and India.
Peggy is currently studying and one of the classes she has to take every semester should be out of the usual curriculum and she has chosen sculpture class. I was excited and when I showed interest to join her for the class, she quickly go the permission from the instructor and I was there one evening. The class is between 4:30 to 7:oo and in that we took a walk outside, collected fossils and other things for making impressions on the clay, formed the mold, prepared plaster, poured them on to mold and allowed it to dry so to form the final shape. It was amazing and I was full admiration for the style in which the class was held, much laid back and allowing students to be themselves. It was fun.
Rest of my free time was spent trying various cuisines. That is one of the best things in the US; you can try food from all over the world. This time, I mainly tried my favorite Mexican at chipotle and 3 Margaritas; Thai food at Thai Basil; Vietnamese at Saigon, Ethiopian at Uchenna and noodle & company.