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November/December 2008/Florida & Goa

December 30th, 2008 Posted in 2008, Florida, Goa

St. Bartholomeu\'s Church on Charao Island

This was our first Thanksgiving in the US since 2001 and our first in Florida, since Rowan was 3 months old.  It was a quiet low key November with Shaun participating actively on the Varsity Cross Country Team.   The team finished 4th at State after winning their Districts and Regionals, and Shaun has discovered a true passion for running in those 1980’s NBA shorts through trails that see more possums and squirrels than humans.  We learned from Meme over the holidays, that Shaun is actually a third generation runner in the Connell family.   It definitely did not come from the Majumdar side.    The other boys continued their active club soccer seasons, until we broke for holidays to go to Goa.

While we were living in China, we used to go to Goa every Christmas and New Years, and family would meet us there, but it is a long trip to make from the US; however, we decided to do it this year to meet Meme, Rajjina’s brother’s family and their neighbors, the Van Vleets.  After a last steak in the Newark airport (Rowan actually wanted us to repeat the meal, when we arrived back in Newark at 5 a.m.), we flew to Goa and spent the holidays shopping for trinkets in the local markets, body surfing in good sized waves that scraped up each of our boys, motorcycling each morning through the countryside and eating great Indian dinners each night.   The highlight of the trip for Shaun and Papi was Shaun getting dive certified along with his friend Ryan.   The diving itself was not that spectacular with about 3-5 meter visibility, even though we were able to dive a 50 year old wreck off off Grand Island ( see www.goadiving.com) . The exciting part is that Papi now has a dive buddy under the same roof, as Shaun got his Open Water Padi certification.

Goa continues to be a great place to spend the holidays.  It’s old Portuguese charm and largely Catholic population make it quite an interesting place to spend Christmas within India.  We continued our annual Santa Hunt tradition and this year offered only one word clues to find the Santas.   The kids are getting too smart for us; we are going to have to expand the area where we hide the Santas soon (probably over acreage rather than just within one apartment).  We also took our “welcome in the New Year” boat trip to Bat Island, where we went fishing, snorkeling, hiking and enjoyed our own secluded beach.  It  was fun hanging out with family, but it will probably be awhile again, before we can head out that far for the holidays, especially with high school and club sporting events starting to encroach on the Christmas/New Year’s holiday time.

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The Majumdars

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