Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mr. Tood Departs

This past weekend our family of expatriates threw a few parties, had a few dinners, said our goodbyes, and put Todd on the plane back to Minnesota--his contract was completed and was time to return home. What's harder to believe than the fact that Todd has already completed his 12-month assignment for Target India is that I am only six weeks behind him! Yes, I will complete my assignment and head back to Minnesota at the end of October. Funny how time flies...

The events of the weekend included a going away party with a "Minnesota State Fair" theme (everything on a stick!) Tracy and Tom organized this fantastic party with so many of Target India's best team members turning out to wish Todd a fond farewell. There was corn-on-the-cob, homemade corn dogs (yum!), cotton candy, popcorn, cookies, french fries... the list goes on and on. The kids loved the balloons and party favors, and everyone had a chance to get their faces and arms painted (I still have glitter on my hands :o) I felt like I was back on the St. Paul fairgrounds! Sunday brought brunch at Zen, the Asian restaurant at the Leela Palace Hotel--a nice and relaxing time before heading to the airport.

What an amazing year it has been and what an amazing group of expats I've had the privilege to live, work, and play with! Living in our apartment building, Zen Gardens (or affectionately known as the EPC--Expat Central), has been like a college dorm & the Real World meet Indian Melrose Place (I know, that's quite the visual but it's actually quite accurate...) We've all had the unique opportunity to live and work in a foreign country; learn more about the people, culture, and customs that are uniquely Indian; and also take time to travel together, eat together, watch movies, attend concerts, shop, play games, and best of all, laugh together--and SO much laughter!! There's never been a dull moment this entire year.

And so, Mr. Tood (affectionately misspelled by the girl at the food court Domino's Pizza), we will miss your laughter, your smiles, and we will certainly miss watching you do your funky little dance or seeing you twisting your hair... Congratulations on your successful year in India and only the best to you in your new position back at Target Minneapolis. You will be missed.

Now our current expat posse will slowly begin to disband over the next few months... Todd, then me, then Curly (the "other" Michael)... but new recruits are already coming in to replace many of us "old timers" and pick up where we left off. It still seems like just last week when I was getting settled in my apartment, adjusting to Indian food, and looking at my year ahead. This is why it is so important to be present and savor the moments you have.

Life is today--life is now. Live it, Love it, Enjoy it, and Celebrate it! And most importantly, celebrate the people in your life--give thanks often and be grateful. Take the opportunities to appreciate others, for only through your relationships with others do you truly live!


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