After Leila left us fairly early, she wrote us a good-bye e-mail where she mentioned going back to the “real world”. I didn't stop there much. After the craze of the departure day settled: waking up on time, reaching the airport on time, catching the first plane on time, catching the second plane on time, passport control, boarding the plane, take off and meal served I was left with nothing but my thoughts for the following 8 hours, reality started sinking in. I remembered the e-mail, and my thoughts travelled ahead of me back to my home, the family, the kids, commitments and my job. I realised then that even though I was 40,000 feet above ground, I was actually slowly, but steadily, falling from wonderland back into my real world; but boy did I expect such a harsh fall!!
In the airport my loving husband was waiting for me. We made our way to the parking talking, chatting excitedly and exchanging our news. When we got into the car, my car, and upon ignition I was greeted with a warning message of the car's overdue service. Something that I've postponed for weeks. An appointment needs to be booked ASAP and it has to be squeezed somewhere around my office hours. My fall accelerated. Don't get my wrong, I'm not an automobile freak, but maintaining a good service record means a good re-sell value of the car. Yes, of course I'm gonna sell it in the coming few years, after all that's what life in Dubai is all about: expensive and temporary.
I arrive home and I receive the warmest welcome ever from the toddler, the baby and the mother I left behind. Before I could shower and change alarm bells were ringing in my head for the due homework for tomorrow, it was getting late and the toddler wanted “mommy”. Tired, sleepy and stinky I head to the girls’ room to serve my duty as a loving mother. The acceleration of my fall increased. When I finally managed to put the kids to bed, shower and put my feet on the table, a conversation led to talk about finances and my fall took a turbo charge and I finally, and gloriously, hit the ground with a bang!
That night, even though my dreams took me back to wonderland, the following morning was sure to remind me of the reality. Old age complains of my 70 years old mother, a long grocery list and requests from work pouring over the BlackBerry.
The wonderland that is the GV Summit in its entirety: the people, the languages, the exposure, the workshops, the information, the experiences, the knowledge, the feelings, the food, the beer, the Karaoke, the roof top bar, the patchy internet, the human rights discussions, the advocacy, the tears, the fears and the ball game at the end of each day, is definitely something worth cherishing.. for ever. If I could only bottle it, somehow, and take a sniff every time I run out of inspiration or motivation.
It's probably a cliche, but thank you Global Voices for giving me the opportunity to witness that explosion of cultures and activism that is GV Summit. I vowed to walk the GV path, one post at a time, all the way until wonderland becomes our real world..world wide.
I was fortunate enough to attend my third summit. As they say at the end of each Olympics, this was the best yet! Missing old and new friends everyday.
And not to forget Jollibee :)
Was lovely meeting you ya Lara :)