13 April, 2016

K is for Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal, or “Kodai” (pronounced like “Cody”) was my school in India. My first boarding school. My first experience of India. (see post for I)

I have to say, all this reminiscing and trying to find the more interesting stories from my past travels has left me a bit drained. A bit homesick. Nostalgia is great in small doses, but geesh! Why did I pick this theme?

Today I’m going to share just a quick story, then share some pictures that aren’t connected to the story, but are connected to the place.

My first year at Kodai, the whole family made the trek: 4 hours down the mountain in Sri Lanka, an hour flight, then 4 more hours up the mountain to Kodai. The “whole family” includes my three older siblings who were also moving into the dorm, our parents, and my younger brother "Poseidon", who would return to Sri Lanka with my parents to be home-schooled a while longer.

SIDEBAR: Before we moved from the States, the whole family got a vast series of innoculations for an endless variety of diseases. Back in the 80s (I don’t know what it is now) children under a certain age were not required to get the gamma-globulin vaccine against Hepatitis A.  So little brother, who was just 7 when we moved, was exempt from this one.

The gamma-globulin was a booster we re-upped every 6 months. Except for him. In the esteemed wisdom of whatever health organization made the rules, NINE was the magic age whereupon a person was old enough to potentially contract the disease. Because apparently viruses respect age.

(You can probably see where this is going, right?)

Mom, Dad, and Poseidon got home, and within days they called the dorm to say that he had, indeed, contracted hepatitis, and there was no way of knowing if he had it before traveling to Kodai. OOPS!

Everyone in the dorm was pissed. Many of them didn’t regularly get the shot because it wasn’t required for whichever country they lived in, and now they all had to go to the school’s dispensary and get it.

Hepatitis A never leaves your system. As a grown adult, my brother can never donate blood because of that. Other than that, it seems to have had no effect on him. …I wonder how he would tell the story.

Anyway, please enjoy these pictures of/from my dormitory at Kodai. (trick: if you hover your mouse over the picture, there may be a short anecdote to go with it.)

Moral of the Story: Get your shots!


  1. Thank you for the pictures! I know this nostalgia thing is wearing on you (and no one said you can't change your theme halfway through. There's no A to Z police! As far as I know. But I'll bail you out if there are).

    Speaking of police, someone should arrest that virus. I mean the NERVE.

  2. I don't understand the age restriction thing. Either you can get something or you can't. Maybe that's why I'm not a doctor.

    1. It's probably not a restriction anymore. Maybe they just assumed no one that young will be traveling that far?

  3. Since I, too, am writing an A-Z photo journey, I feel that nostalgia, too, Red. All of my photos were taken 20 or so years ago. I'm glad I am where I am but I miss that, too. Thanks for these photos. Interesting.


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